Chicken added to price control list
Feed meal factories face stricter measures
The Commerce Ministry is putting chickens and chicken meat on the state price control list and rolling out more stringent measures for chicken raisers and slaughterhouses as well as feed meal factories, requiring them to declare their sales costs and stocks as part of efforts to deal with surging food prices.
Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, who chaired the online meeting of the Central Committee on Prices of Goods and Services on Wednesday, said the panel approved the inclusion of chicken and chicken meat on the list and will propose the move to the cabinet next Tuesday.
The committee also approved management measures for chicken raisers with more than 100,000 birds and chicken slaughterhouses with a capacity of more than 4,000 chickens per day to report the quantity, stocks and their sales costs every month.
In addition, the committee approved tighter measures on all 55 domestic feed meal factories, demanding they report the sales costs, production volume and stocks as well as gain prior approval from the Internal Trade Department before they raise the prices of their products.
Mr Jurin thanked on Wednesday chicken farmers and producers who recently agreed to cooperate with the ministry's request to freeze chicken prices until the situation improves.
The Internal Trade Department has been assigned to continue discussions with chicken raisers and producers to promote chicken as an alternative food.
He brushed aside reports the ministry is about to approve a price increase for electrical appliances, saying the Internal Trade Department has yet to approve higher prices for these products.
"Some people are trying to take advantage of the situation, seizing the opportunity to raise product prices unfairly. This will aggravate consumers' hardships," said Mr Jurin.
"The Commerce Ministry asks for cooperation from all consumers who find any merchants increasing prices unreasonably or hoarding their products to inform the ministry through the 1569 hotline."
In a related development, the committee also approved on Wednesday extending price controls for another year on four products: face masks; synthetic fibres used in face mask production; products using alcohol as an ingredient for hygiene; and waste paper and recycled paper.
The price control list mainly covers essential items for daily use such as food, consumer products, agricultural products (fertilisers, pesticides, animal feed, tractors and rice harvesters), construction materials, paper, petroleum and medicines.
Listed foods include garlic, rice paddy, milled rice, corn, eggs, cassava, wheat flour, powdered/fresh milk, sugar, vegetable/animal oil and pork, while listed services include delivery for online businesses, agriculture-related services, medical services and other healthcare services, and payment services at service points.
Once chicken and chicken meat are approved by the cabinet, the number of products and services on the list would tally 52.
There are currently 51 items on the state price control list, 46 of which are products and five services.
To help with rising living costs, the cabinet on Tuesday allocated 1.48 billion baht from the central budget as proposed by the Commerce Ministry to fund relief measures for consumers for three months.