Friday, April 20, 2012

'Crisis' in Port Moresby affects business

Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry says there is a crisis in the city which is greatly affecting business in the city.
Chamber president Ron Seddon made an urgent appeal to parties to sort out the current uncertainty and unease in the capital, which he said had left businesses and their staff “nervous, feeling frustrated and threatened by the current situation” .
“Those causing this nervousness need to realise they are adversely affecting the lives of ordinary Papua New Guineans to a significant extent, where it hurts: in their pockets,” he said.
“The prices of goods and services to the average family will inevitably rise as the cost of doing business is forced up by the loss of days of trading and having to fill gaps left by staff who cannot or are too scared to get to work.
“We should call this ‘self-induced inflation’ by the people and leaders of Papua New Guinea.
“Couple this with the fact that it is already expensive to do business in our country along with significant upward pressure on costs - which is never properly reflected by the inadequate measurement of CPI - and we have an extremely worrying scenario developing.
“Businesses cannot operate properly, costs rise.
“Staff cannot perform, costs rise.
“Public servants take advantage of the ‘unrest’ to close office, causing more delays, costs rise.”
Seddon said this week, while business got on with the job at hand as best they could, it was noticeable Customs, “already a source of costly delays for business”, and the Labour Department closed up shop because of the “unrest”.
“There was no ‘unrest’ in the CBD,” he said.
“Not even a size 7 earthquake on the Richter Scale stopped most businesses from operating.
“Crumbling infrastructure such as our roads and the severed freeway means it takes longer to get jobs done, costs rise.
“We urge NCDC to ramp up work to 24/7 to fix the freeway and not just accept that the one lane quick fix is sufficient.

“The freeway issue is a crisis: get it fixed!”.-Picture by MALUM NALU

“At peak hours, traffic going into town at peak hours is backed up to Waigani Drive in both lanes
“Some trucking companies are now only delivering at night as it takes too long to make a delivery during the day.
“Once again costs go up.
“With some container storage moved to 8-Mile, truck cartage rates have risen considerably.
“Business is grinding to a halt and authorities are taking almost a lackadaisical approach to fixing the problem.
“The freeway issue is a crisis: get it fixed!”
Seddon said there was a crisis in confidence which was only exacerbated when “our politicised and factionalised police are sorting out internal issues and not attending to the needs of the city residents”.
“The police commissioner initially admitted he was powerless to do anything about the political issues.
“We are, however, pleased to see firm action at last with the arrest of five policemen on assault charges and the announcement that the riot squads will be sent packing from our city and back to the Highlands.”

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