The internal trade chief said he was aware that instant noodle manufacturers were facing higher production costs but he had to reject their request to raise the product price to eight baht per pack.
Wattanasak Sueaiam, director-general of the Department of Internal Trade, said he acknowledged the press conference in which the five instant noodle manufacturers jointly sought permission to increase their product price from six baht to eight baht per pack due to rising production costs.
He said that his department was carefully considering the matter to treat all parties fairly. However, it had not allowed any manufacturer to raise the price yet. If any operators increased it or hoard the products, they would be liable to a jail term of up to seven years and/or a maximum fine of 140,000 baht, Mr Wattanasak said.
Meanwhile, Somchai Pornratcharoen, president of the Thai Retailers and Wholesalers Association, said goods prices should rise by a certain extent to maintain production. Otherwise, only large-scale manufacturers would survive and monopolize their market.
He said the prices of some products were inflated because of hidden costs including fees such as shelving fees and management fees.
Mr Somchai urged the government to take care of some main production costs such as power tariff and transport fees. If the government handled such costs well, product price increase might be unnecessary, he said. (TNA)