26 Apr 2006

PNG businesses in Lae forced to pay higher licence fees

1:33 pm on 26 April 2006

Businesses in the Papua New Guinea city, Lae, will now be forced to pay more for trading licences after the City Council rejected a bid to curtail the new fees.

The Post Courier newspaper says the Lae Chamber of Commerce had sought to have the licences, announced in January, reviewed.

It was assured at a meeting with council heads and Morobe provincial administration officials that this would happen.

But the Council wrote to the chamber last week saying it rejected the recommendations set forward and would revert to the new fee levels as announced.

The Lae Chamber of Commerce has raised the matter with the PNG Chamber of Commerce, saying it would become a national issue as other urban councils were starting to impose the new fees.

The new fees see an increase of between 100 to 2000 per cent on the old fees.

Supermarkets that have liquor outlets and other operations that are listed as separate business operations would be the hardest hit as they would be paying different fees for each of their operations.