PM pledges to tackle rising consumer product prices

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NAKHON PATHOM, May 19 – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Saturday pledged that her government will speed up solving the problem of rising consumer prices, saying she believed the prices would soon drop due to the lower cost of agriculture produce.

The premier made her remarks as she visited a fresh produce market in Nakhon Pathom province on her way to Kanchanaburi for Sunday’s cabinet retreat meeting, inquiring with vendors on both retail and wholesale prices of vegetables.

Ms Yingluck said the vendors told her that vegetables prices have dropped by 20 percent from last week but still remained high. The vendors also urged the premier to urgently solve these problems.

The premier said that oil price is one of factors which has led to rising consumer costs, but was not the main reason as there are still additional costs charged by middlemen and services.

She said her government will speed up control of product prices and that the prices will decrease so the agricultural produce prices will lower due to the increasing volume of seasonal products.

The government however has to maintain so prices of agricultural produce is not too low, according to the prime minister.

Ms Yingluck also met with representatives of some 200 pomelo growers from Nakhon Chaisri and Sam Phran districts who called for compensations of Bt50,000 per rai as their pomelo orchards were damaged by flooding. Altogether, 600 rai of pomelo gardens were affected by floodwaters and until now, no financial assistance has been granted to them.

The premier reportedly told the gardeners that she would consider their request.

Ms Yingluck later headed to Kanchanaburi province where she met with leaders of the Thai Women Empowerment Fund.

PM cancelled plan to board helicopter to inspect water situation in Sirikit dam and forest in Kanchanaburi because of weather and she was feeling unwell.

The premier will later chair a meeting of the Regional Joint Public/Private Sector Consultative Committee in which the private sector will propose various development projects for Cabinet consideration.

On Sunday, Ms Yingluck will chair the Kanchanaburi Cabinet session and then return to Bangkok in the afternoon.

The Kanchanaburi retreat is the fourth upcountry cabinet meeting following Chiang Mai in January, Udon Thani in February, and Phuket in March.