Commerce Ministry will see to goods hoarding and price hike

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The Commerce Ministry has instructed its officials to monitor consumer goods’ prices nationwide following the imposition of the Martial Law, in a bid to prevent goods stockpiling and unfair prices by unscrupulous traders.

Department of Internal Trade Director General Somchart Soithong has handed down the policy to provincial Internal Trade Offices throughout the nation to closely follow price movement of all goods in the market and report the findings on a daily basis.

He said the move is to make sure that the public startled by the news of the coup d’etat would not hoard goods unreasonably, which could lead to goods shortages. Mr. Somchart also said that measure will be put in place to protect consumers from being taken advantage of by traders who might raise prices of commodities unfairly.

Initially the officials are creating an understanding among vendors and consumers to do their businesses as usual, the Director General said, adding that, at the moment, there is no report of goods stockpiling or unfair trading. Those violating the goods stockpiling codes are subject to 5 years’ imprisonment and a 200,000-baht fine, while those selling goods at exorbitant prices will face a jail term of no more than 7 years and a fine of up to 140,000 baht.