DEPUTY Prime Minister-cum-Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai today (Oct. 30) halted a four-baht increase in the ex-factory price of sugar nationwide for the 2023/24 production season excluding VAT as earlier announced by the Cane and Sugar Board, Matichon newspaper said.
Speaking after chairing a meeting of the Central Committee on Prices of Goods and Services Phumtham said it has been agreed to designate sugar as a controlled product with the panel’s resolution to be submitted to the Cabinet tomorrow and announced in the Royal Gazette on Wednesday Nov. 1.
The minister added that this resolution is in two parts, firstly the ex-factory price of white sugar is to remain 19 baht a kg as will refined sugar 20 baht a kg.
Retail prices are to be controlled in Bangkok and surrounding areas with white sugar fixed at 24 baht a kg and refined sugar 25 baht a kg. The regulatory retail prices in other provinces will be next considered.
Export control is to be imposed with those shipping over one tonne of sugar having to ask for permission to do so from a yet to be established subcommittee to be participated by representatives of the Cane and Sugar Board and Internal Trade Department.
“The ministry is concerned about what is happening, people are already facing difficulties. If the price of sugar goes up it will affect the production chain linked to sugar and affect the price of products that use sugar as an ingredient,” Phumtham said.
The Internal Trade Department will be closely monitoring the sale of sugar. Those selling this product above the controlled prices face maximum five years imprisonment and/or highest 100,000 baht fine. Those caught hoarding sugar face a maximum seven years’ jail and/or highest 140,000 baht fine.
Those who have complaints are urged to call the ministry’s hotline 1569.
Sugar on sale at a supermarket. Photos: Matichon
Also read: Price of sugar hiked by 4 baht a kg