Powes Parkop, the National Capital District Governor, has urged the PNG government to intervene and deal with the surging costs of public motor vehicle (PMV) fares.

The governor noted the effect price rises would have on poorer people. He said that he had brought up the topic of petrol prices in parliament because he had foreseen the rise.

He said the government should be looking at ways to reduce fuel prices and subsidise public transport. He said, “The increase of bus fare from K1 to K2 in the city will cause more hardships to our people who are struggling.”

He said that while the suspension of the goods and services tax (GST) was appreciated, the rising fuel costs might lead to an increase in goods and services prices. This might have the effect of negating the benefits of the GST suspensions.

“The suspension of the goods and services tax on basic goods is welcomed, but there was an urgent need to strategise on the rising cost of fuel prices,” Parkop said.

The governor suggested that the Papua New Guinean government allow Puma Energy, the country’s primary fuel supplier, to source crude oil from Kutubu in the Southern Highlands directly. He also recommended that the government should negotiate with other nations, such as oil-rich Venezuela, so that it can purchase crude oil at more favourable rates.

Parkop said, “Removing excise tax on fuel as applied to basic goods could subsidise its cost, especially in some sectors of the economy like public vehicles, which could reduce the issue on the bus fares in the city.”

He added that city hall was launching a new bus service that used PMV bus operators.

Image source: portmoresbypng