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PNG Govt cautioned over imposition of Import Tariffs

The O'Neill government has been cautioned to avoid making a hand-picked selection of individual products to grant protection to.

Director of the Papua New Guinea Institute of National Affairs, Paul Barker, made this remark in light of government announcements to increase import tariffs.

In an interview with NBC News, Mr Barker says, it might look like granting special favors to certain businesses or certain industries while others miss out.

"And there are other industries which could argue that they are also up-and-coming PNG industries (in food processing/production) and why select others and not us?

"And that's a valid argument.

"Its better that when you're applying tariff protection you try to apply it across the board and not try to be selective.

"Its also important to try to avoid any exclusive arrangements, so you're not protecting an individual company which may be a monopoly company.

"Generally, having an open and free trade is advantageous to the consumers," Mr Barker said.

He also says the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission must closely monitor the effects of increased tariff on imports to ensure there is adequate domestic competition.

NBC News

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