By DALE LUMA
THE Independent Consumer Competition Commission (ICCC) will prosecute public motor vehicle (PMV) operators that overcharge passengers, commissioner and chief executive officer Paulus Ain says.
Ain was responding to complaints from the public that some PMV crews, especially in Port Moresby, were charging above the rates set by the ICCC.
He said the travelling public needed to lodge their complaints with the ICCC if they were overcharged and that certain penalties under the Prices Regulations Act would be applied to owners of PMVs that overcharged.
“We can take persecution actions if commuters lodge their complaints with the ICCC,” he said.
“The problem we have is enforcement, that’s is where the RTA (Road Transport Authority) and traffic police come into assist.”
Ain added that due to the general election, RTA had scaled down its operations.
Last December, the consumer and competition watchdog announced that maximum fares for PMV and taxis would increase this year.
The decision was based on the increase in the CPI (Consumer Price Index) for the 12-month period ending in September 2021 as well as the increase in the retail price for diesel in the country.
The maximum fares announced were:
- PORT MORESBY – K1.20 per adult passenger;
- ALOTAU – K1 per adult passenger;
- POPONDETTA – 90 toea per adult passenger;
- LAE – K1 per adult passenger;
- GOROKA – 90 toea per adult passenger; and,
- KOKOPO – K1.10 per adult passenger;
Following the announcement, some PMV crews for routes in Port Moresby such as Gerehu to four mile were charging K2 with their justification being higher fuel prices.
The Government provided tax exemptions on fuel and other selected retail products to lessen the burden on consumers. The ICCC, last week, also released a statement warning that “all PMV operators should be charging normal fares.”