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Fiji Time: 11:56 PM on Saturday 19 April

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Price control on fares

Shalveen Chand
Thursday, January 02, 2014

THE Cabinet has agreed to introduce a price control order on shipping and passenger fares and review the current price control on freight charges for all shipping services in Fiji.

This was done after a six months consultation process by a seven-member technical working group.

Cabinet agreed the order is to be for six months subject to better quality data being presented to the Fiji Commerce Commission by operators for better analysis.

The order is yet to come in effect and the commission will be making an announcement shortly.

Cabinet also agreed to the revocation of the price control on barge freight rates and wants laws in place for the monitoring of barge fees and charges

The Cabinet also revoked the Copra Freight Rates Order of 1992. The copra rates will form part of a single order that will look at all passenger fare and freight rates.

Cabinet said the feasible rates of passenger fares shall be the same for government vessels and private vessels servicing uneconomical routes in maritime islands in Fiji.

According to the Cabinet, this will ensure no "under-cutting" exists for private operators as a result of the operations of government vessels.

The Ministry of Works, Transport and Public Utilities has been tasked to review the Fiji shipping franchise scheme and sea route licensing scheme.

The ministry is to report back to Cabinet with its recommendations.