Various transportation services are now reportedly looking to raise their fares by about 20%. Relevant state agencies have been tasked with calculating the appropriate change in product prices that may follow the transport fare hike.
Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit ordered the Department of Internal Trade to closely monitor product prices. The department will calculate the appropriate price increases for individual products in the event of a transport fare hike.
Jurin said global oil prices have sharply increased and the effects are being felt in every country.
The government has ameliorated rising fuel prices by capping the price of diesel at 30 baht a liter. The commerce minister said individual products will be looked at should the diesel price exceed this level. In such a scenario, commerce officials will determine the impact of oil prices on each product’s overall cost.
Jurin noted that products have different cost structures and so prices cannot be allowed to increase across the board. He added that joint deliberations over proposed price increases would be needed in advance.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, the Department of Internal Trade will be analyzing product cost structures more meticulously than before. He said this may even lead to prices falling for certain items, in line with lowered costs. For the benefit of consumer benefit, product prices will be kept as low as possible but at levels which still allow producers to subsist.
Jurin said a ‘war room’ currently provides him with daily updates on product prices. He added that so far, manufacturers have cooperated with requests to keep prices unchanged amid heightened costs. (NNT)