By DALE LUMA
THE cost of operating a business in PNG is high because of law and order issues, an unreliable or inconsistent supply of power, water and telecommunication services.
National Superannuation Fund (Nasfund) chief executive officer Ian Tarutia was responding to the recent rating of Port Moresby as one of the least livable cities in the world.
Tarutia told The National that he was not surprised by the assessment conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
“Port Moresby is an expensive city to do business in,” he said.
“Extra expenses are incurred in enhancing security measures, power generators, and back up water and telecommunication services, especially internet rates,”
“Taxpayers do not receive the level of service commensurate with what they pay.
“There is no value for money.”
Tarutia said apart from Ela Beach, public amenities and recreation parks in the city were poorly maintained.
“Also, garbage collection services from residences for example is unreliable,” he said.
“Inflation has an impact on cost of basic goods and services which cannot be afforded by the average worker who will struggle to cover basic necessities, let alone juggling rent, transportation and health costs.”
Tarutia said even the prices of market goods and informal market items had gone up.
“Unless salaries and wages increase which is very difficult in these economic times, our people will struggle to cover basic necessities,” he said.
“In the property market, even with a surplus of high end residential and commercial properties, rents are still high compared to overseas markets.
“Government can control prices of basic goods and wages but in the long run this is not good for our country.
“It can lead to recession and further job losses which we don’t need this right now.
“Government can use monetary policy to control inflation by reducing money supply within the economy by decreasing its bond prices and increasing interest rates.
“But this means there will be less money to go around, less spending and hence less economic activity.”
By DALE LUMA