By Staff Reporter : PNG Today
In a statement, Mr. Maru said this syndicate was uncovered when his Department conducted an investigation in rice pricing recently.
Minister Maru said they have more grounds to suspect that widespread transfer pricing by rice importers are inflating the price consumers are paying, and also depriving the State of revenues by keeping revenues off-shore, thus draining the country's foreign reserves.
He says their investigations have found that the pricing of imported Vietnam rice, stands at about US$326 or about K1,050 per tonne, while Thai rice costs around US$361 or K1,100per tone FOB, but it is declared at a value of more than US$800 per tonne, when it reaches PNG shores.
Minister Maru says this margin is irreconcilable, even after taking into account other costs which does not even exceed US$50 or about K161 per ton.
Mr Maru further added that the Department is convinced that PNG consumers and the industry has been paying up to 40 per cent more on rice, an oversight the Independent Consumer Competition Commission should have uncovered, if they had used Price Control to monitor and set the wholesale and retail price of rice in the country
He said this practice should not be allowed to continue, because companies have been exploiting Papua New Guineans through such deals.