Price limits on 51 goods, services retained

Price limits on 51 goods, services retained

Curb on movement of maize expanded

Vendors sell a variety of food items at the Bang Yai fresh market in Nonthaburi province. The government on Thursday listed several food items that are to be controlled, including garlic, rice, corn, eggs, sugar, oil and pork. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Vendors sell a variety of food items at the Bang Yai fresh market in Nonthaburi province. The government on Thursday listed several food items that are to be controlled, including garlic, rice, corn, eggs, sugar, oil and pork. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The government on Thursday agreed to retain its price control on 51 goods and services while introducing stringent measures on the movement of maize in three additional provinces to stabilise domestic prices.

The meeting of the Central Committee on the Prices of Goods and Services chaired by Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit maintained the price control list for 51 items, 46 of which are products while the other five are services. The list is expected to be proposed for cabinet approval.

The price control list covers essential items for daily use such as food, consumer products, farm-related 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. The services listed are the right to distribute copyrighted music for commercial purposes, trading services and/or shipping services for online businesses, agricultural services, medical services and other services of a health care facility, and payment services at the point of service.

According to Mr Jurin, the committee also tightened its grip on the movement and import of maize products to curb adverse impacts on domestic maize prices.

Traders are required to seek prior permission from responsible authorities before making any such movement. Such requirements have been applied in seven additional districts in three provinces, on top of the existing 45 districts in 12 provinces.

The seven districts added comprise Klong Toey port in Bangkok's Klong Toey district; Kantang district and Muang district in Trang province; and the districts of Muang, Sangkhla Buri, Sai Yok, Thong Pha Phum and Dan Makhamtia in Kanchanaburi province.

Mr Jurin said the ministry also pledges to carefully consider requests by producers to raise their product prices while insisting the ministry has yet to permit instant noodle producers to increase their prices for fear that the price hike, once allowed, would affect low-income people who largely rely on instant noodles.

Amid growing pressure from rising oil prices, which greatly affect manufacturers' production costs, the Commerce Ministry has vowed to maintain consumer goods prices as long as possible to ensure a minimal impact on consumers.

Products with price caps include instant noodles, fresh and raw cooking materials such as meat and eggs, canned food, packaged rice, seasoning sauces, vegetable oils, soft drinks, dairy products, electric appliances, detergents, fertilisers, insecticides, pet food, steel, cement, paper, pills and medical supplies.

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