PTT partners up for cheap food scheme
The government is making cheaply priced food available at PTT Plc petrol stations nationwide. The move is part of plans to open low-cost food shops at more than 600 petrol stations this year to help alleviate cost of living pressures.
The Commerce Ministry yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with PTT, the national oil and gas conglomerate, to open the outlets, selling food priced no more than 35 baht a dish under the ministry's Noo Nid food scheme.
Auttapol Rerkpiboon, senior executive vice-president for oil business, said the first Noo Nid shop at a PTT petrol station will open in the next two weeks, adding that more than 600 branches are expected to sell low-cost food by year-end.
PTT currently operates more than 1,300 petrol stations nationwide.
Wiboonlasana Ruamraksa, permanent secretary of the Commerce Ministry, said the ministry aims to expand its low-cost food scheme to cover more than 15,000 outlets this year. It will mainly target areas with many low-income earners, such as factory sites.
So far, 11,809 low-cost food outlets operate under the plan, 17 of which are mobile units, mainly food trucks. The ministry plans to raise the number of food trucks to at least 35 this year.
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak last month ordered senior-ranking Commerce Ministry officials to closely monitor global oil prices to prevent any negative effects on the cost of living.
The Commerce Ministry also pledged to re-establish a war room to closely monitor product price movements and report the price situation on a daily basis.
The ministry has also threatened harsh punishment for profiteers. Under the Price of Goods and Services Act, any traders found selling goods or services at prices higher than the reference prices will be subject to seven years' imprisonment, a fine of up to 140,000 baht or both. Vendors without price labelling will be subject to a fine of not more than 10,000 baht.
Last month, the Commerce Ministry asked leading local manufacturers to produce 20 items that are essential for daily use, including soap, toothpaste, detergent and shampoo.
Under the Thong Fah (Blue Flag) scheme, these products with discounts of 15-20% will provide a non-branded option for low-income earners.