Commerce to seek extension of price freeze by another 6 months
May 03, 2014 00:00
By Petchanet Pratruangkrai
The Commerce Ministry will ask consumer goods manufacturers to freeze prices for another six months to ensure a low cost of living.
Santichai Santawanpas, deputy director-general of the Internal Trade Department, said that caretaker Commerce Minister Niwatthumrong Boonsongpaisan agreed with plan to freeze prices until October.
However, Santichai said if any producers faced higher production costs, they could submit a plan and the cost structure of goods to the department by May 6 and the department would consider whether to allow a price increase.
The price-freeze measures have been imposed for more than three years. The ministry has closely tracked 200 goods in its price monitor and control lists.
Santichai said that the ministry had to continue price-freezing measures due to consumers having low spending confidence amidst the political uncertainty and the recovery economy.
He said that manufacturers which could handle the cost of production should cooperate and keep prices the same.
The ministry had also sent letters to modern traders and retailers, instructing them to inform the department if they discover prices have been increased.
It had also collaborated with modern traders to organise food discounted by 20 per cent at food courts.
Santichai said that the measures to keep prices the same should relieve some burden for consumers, in particular parents during the back-to-school period.
To increase consumer protection in relation to goods quantity and weights, the department asked manufacturers to have a clear explanation on their labels so consumers could decide whether to buy a product.