ICCC to ban goods not labelled in English

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THE Independent Consumer and Competition Commission plans to re-introduce the ban on the sale of goods that are not labelled in English, or are fake or have expired.
The penalties include a fine of K100,000 or a two-year jail term.
Independent Consumer and Competition Commission general manager Avi Hubert said the requirement was specific for the English-labelling issue.
The five key aspects are:

  • Ingredients should be in English so that the consumers can make informed decisions on whether the content is something that they could consume;
  • The name of the packer or distributor needs to be in English;
  • Their address needs to be English;
  • The country of origin needs to be in English so we know where it is coming from; and,
  • The net weight of the product needs to be in English.

“Those are the five main requirements of the non-English labelling interim ban that we have in place,” he said.
“That’s drawn down from the Food Sanitation Act and Regulation.”
He said the previous ban was from March to September.
“The Consumer Protection team is working on re-introducing that interim ban again and those penalties will apply again once the interim ban is effected and gazetted,” he said.
“We have two approaches. We can prosecute, and we can do an education and awareness approach.
“What we have been doing so far is getting businesses to understand the importance of this ban. After that we will move into the prosecution.
“So we think it is a fair approach to give businesses time to absorb the requirements.”
Commissioner Paulus Ain said the commission was conducting awareness on the proper trading practices to follow.
“For now, we are just doing awareness and asking the good business houses to cease this practice. If they continue, then these are the penalties that we will impose on them,” he said.


Source  :  The National

11 Bangladeshis arrested

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Eleven Bangladeshis were apprehended by a joint government team for allegedly working illegally in a shop owned by a naturalised citizen in Port Moresby yesterday.
The team also found a female believed to be underage and employed in that shop when conducting a spot-check on the shop.
The team comprising Immigrations, PNG Customs, Labour, National Capital District Commission, Investment Promotion Authority, PNG Censorship Office, police and Bank of Papua New Guinea ordered the owner to give her final pay and told her to go home.
The owner, one of the latest foreign businessmen to be granted citizenship by the PNG Citizenship Board, was strongly reprimanded by the team.
The team also found that the kitchen of the shop’s eatery was filthy and unhygienic.
The team rounded up all the Bangladeshis and searched their rooms for illegal substances. They then confiscated and checked all the passports and work permits and rounded up 11 whose permits were irregular. These Bangladeshis spoke little or no  English.
The owner scolded his Bangladesh workers for not having proper work permits to work in his shop. But the team told him that he should have checked his workers before they came into PNG.
He told them that he did not know their background.
“I just get them from a recruiting agent in Dhaka, (Bangladesh).
“They were supposed to provide proper information to the agent to send them to work for me in Papua New Guinea.
“I am a PNG citizen now and don’t want them to tarnish my good reputation.”
Meanwhile, the government team made aspot-check on a Bangladeshi-owned shop and found counterfeit cigarettes.
The cigarettes were confiscated to check how they were sold by the distributer in Port Moresby.
The team is making spot checks on expatriate-owned businesses after public complaints were raised about local employees being paid below the minimum wage of K3.50 per hour, not paying local employees’ superannuation, employment of  illegal immigrants, unregistered businesses activities, not operating in designated commercial zones and so on.


Source :  The National

Ditha Morris Nayabbanung Suspended

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THE National Housing Corporation acting managing director Ditha Morris Nayabbanung has been suspended pending an investigation into the supervision of the delayed government’s Durand Farm housing project.
According to a statement yesterday from the Housing and Urbanisation ministry, Minister John Kaupa suspended Nayabbanung last week pending an investigation into his handling of the K3.5million Public investment programme appropriation for 2017.
“The suspension stems from his (alleged) failure to provide proper acquittals and reports to fully substantiate some of these payments,” the statement said.
Kaupa, pictured, appointed executive director operations Kenneth Cooke to act in the position pending the investigations.
Nayabbanung told The National this week that he wanted to see his suspension letter first before he could comment.
Kaupa was particularly concerned about the abuse of millions of public funds allocated to provide key services such as water, electricity and sewerage to the project site in Port Moresby.
Kaupa said the prolonged delay in the delivery of the housing project had become an embarrassment for the Government.
The balance of the K7 milion allocation to the project is being withheld by Planning Department pending acquittals of the initial payment of K11 million.
Kaupa is concerned that some payments from the funds allocated for the installation of key trunk services were made to “dubious services outside of Durand Farm”.
“Even more alarming is the apparent transfer of over 300 illegal titles out of Durand Farm project land now in private hands,” the statement said.
Kaupa is working with Minister for Lands and Physical Planning Justin Tkatchenko to revoke and cancel all the illegal titles.
Kaupa said all adjoining portions of land with Durand Farm (Portion 528) would be identified and reverted back to the National Housing Corporation.
for public housing.
He has also directed the current management to review the contractual arrangement of the four contractors engaged to build and deliver 1000 houses each at the project. One contractor has already pulled out.
He said in the past four years, more than K20 million of public funds had been allocated to the project “but there is very little encouragement on the ground to appease the Government as sponsor of the project’s basic infrastructure”.
Kaupa said the Government wanted to remove all obstacles preventing the project from being completed to address the serious shortage of housing for the people.
Kaupa said trunk services were prerequisite of constructing houses but these vital services had been seriously overlooked.
He blamed the delay in the project on “systematic failures, technical compliance oversight and abuse of public funds”.
“Following physical planning approval for the project in 2014, key services have not been properly planned and installed resulting in delay in the construction phase of the project.”


Source  :  The National

Flooding in Waikato

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Several roads in Waikato are still affected by flooding following heavy rain in the area.

Parts of Rotowaro Rd are closed and Waikokowai Rd is passable by 4 wheel drive only.

Other roads have surface flooding but are still open.

Waikato Council is warning people to be extremely careful on the roads this weekend.


Source  :  New Zealand Flag

Missing West Auckland man Ross Tomlinson found

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A man not seen by friends and family since Wednesday has been discovered alive and well in Tauranga.

West Auckland man Ross Tomlinson was reported missing after last being seen on Wednesday morning.

Police said they had concerns for his welfare.

A police spokeswoman confirmed Tomlinson was found in Tauranga at 9pm on Friday.


Source  :  New Zealand Herald