Fuel hike hits consumers in PNG

 CONSUMERS in Papua New Guinea (PNG) are  inevitably bearing the full brunt of the current high fuel costs as there is no direct Government intervention, PNG Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Ian Tarutia told the local newspaper, The National.

Tarutia says the  recent hike in fuel prices would affect consumers, vehicle owners, business houses and electricity suppliers

“It is unavoidable that consumers will bear the brunt of this fuel price increase in the absence of direct Government intervention,” Tarutia said.

“This is the harsh reality, and will be for some time if the Russian-Ukraine conflict continues.”

He said the chamber was “naturally concerned”.

“We have stated previously that enforcing compliance for subsidies and exemptions will be impractical because of the cost of retail system changes for instance,” he said.

“For starters, there should be a cap or ceiling on fuel prices so it does not become overly expensive for consumers.”

PNG Manufacturing Council chief executive officer Chey Scovell also told The National that the increase in fuel prices would create more inflationary pressures.

“The pressure in transport costs will go up because this is back-to-back increases,” Scovell said.

“This is across the whole line, generators and power reliability has been poor so people will have to spend more on fuel generators.

“On the plus side, we know that Government has talked about removing some of the taxes on fuel and any relief will be okay.

“The recent increases are puzzling because recent oil prices have come down.

“For manufacturers and businesses, their profit margins are eroding.

“There has been so many increases across the supply chain: raw material costs are high, fuel costs are high, transport costs are high, wharf fees are high and everything are costing more and fuel into your fleets is just another thing.

“This is also going to have a negative impact because fuel is an essential item and we are going to see reduced consumer spending because people are going to spend it on fuel.”

The National / Pacific Business News

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