Protect local industry: Executive


MANDE Chicken owner and managing director Tim Numilengi says the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) should be mindful of protecting the local industry when calling to the Government to reduce or scrap the high import tariff on frozen chicken.
“The move will also result in a reduction in tax revenue for Government,” he added.
The ICCC in a recent statement urged the Government to remove the high import tariffs on imported frozen chicken to make it more affordable and to encourage competition to the benefit of consumers.
“The current import tariff of K3.50/kg is too high and is clearly designed to prevent competition from imports,” ICCC commissioner and chief executive officer Paulus Ain said.
“We are very concerned about the significant spike in frozen chicken prices nationwide in the last three months.”
However, Numilengi said the ICCC should be protecting the local poultry industry’s interest, especially those involved in manufacturing.
He said the ICCC was short sighted and did not consider the following implications:

  • TAX revenue will be reduced for the Government;
  • AN increase in unemployment rate; and,
  • LOSS of foreign currency.

“Imported chicken is not providing employment to citizens. We (are) only creating more employment for foreigners. These foreign companies are not paying direct tax to our Government and they must not be permitted to take over the limited market we have.
“We have Niugini Table Birds and Zenag which are the two major manufactures and recently we have Sepik Fresh in East Sepik and few other small-medium operators like Mande Chicken, an East New Britain Government Business Arm and RD Tuna Canners in Madang (which) is also supplying frozen chicken, and few others in the Highlands (region). Therefore, we have enough manufacturers and suppliers in country.
“Instead of removing the import tariff, the ICCC and the Government should conduct a survey/review into the poultry industry and identify the cost factors.
“There is high cost involved in poultry farming and the manufacturing business.
“Review the cost factors and consider the support provided by the Government to reduce the cost.”