Commerce Ministry to curb price of goods

Commerce Ministry to curb price of goods

The Commerce Ministry has vowed to do all it can to control rising consumer goods prices when the retail price of diesel fuel is allowed to rise on May 1.

Boonyarit Kalayanamit, permanent secretary for the ministry, on Sunday said the government will allow the price of diesel to rise above 30 baht per litre, prompting public concern that prices of consumer goods will also increase, driving up the cost of living.

He said the ministry has analysed the cost of products, and even if there is a diesel price surge, this does not mean the cost of every product will increase.

It is necessary to consider whether high pricing actually reflects production costs, he said.

If costs prove to be high, the price of products may have to be allowed to increase, he said. However, if the costs increase slightly, requests for unreasonable price increases will be rejected, he said.

"The Department of Internal Trade has analysed the costs of all types of goods," he said. "Rest assured that the ministry will monitor the prices of goods closely.

"If there is not too much impact on production costs, the firms will be asked to shoulder the [extra] costs and not pass them on to consumers for the time being," he said. "Most importantly, they must not take advantage of the situation and unreasonably increase prices."

Sanan Angubolkul, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking will meet next month to assess impacts of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on global demand for goods and its effect on production, oil prices and logistics.

If global oil prices continue to soar, the domestic retail price of diesel may surge to 35–36 baht per litre next month if the 30-baht-per-litre cap is lifted.

This would drive up consumer-good prices and the government must formulate measures to deal with the situation, Mr Sanan said.

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