FORMER commerce minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said in a Facebook post today (Jan. 15) that with prices of daily necessities having jumped amid low wages it is now necessary to adjust the whole economic structure, Matichon newspaper said.
He warned that the entire economy could collapse and if this happened it would take a long time to revive it again. However this could be averted if there was daily brainstorming to find a solution and adjust the economic structure with all sides helping in doing so.
Sontirat, who is also former secretary-general of Palang Pracharat Party, added that he sympathised with the people as product prices were rising quickly and a speed not seen in this country for a very long time. Particularly painful was the price of many products climbing simultaneously.
Last year oil prices edged up which then hiked transport cost and led to many product prices rising with there being greater or lesser impact on the public.
This time round however the rising food prices directly impacts everyone, regardless of whether people buy pork at the market to cook at home or eat in a restaurant, prices have all gone up.
It is not only pork with prices of other food stuff also to edge up and this greatly affected the people, he said, while urging government agencies to do more to help them.
Sontirat also commented on the government this week freezing the price of cooking gas at 318 baht per 15-kilogramme cylinder until March 31, with this being a two-month extension from the end of this month.
While praising this step he called on the authorities to peg it at this level until the product prices move to a more fitting level or the pandemic eased.
Unlike prices of pork and other foodstuff, the price of cooking gas was something the government could control up to a certain level even if it meant raising funds to do so, he pointed out.
Former commerce minister Sontirat Sontijirawong. Photos: Matichon