Commerce ministry acts to control prices amid minimum wage hike
Commerce ministry acts to control prices amid minimum wage hikeLegacy

The Ministry of Commerce implemented two measures to tackle rising product prices following the minimum wage increase to 400 baht. Officials are closely monitoring clothing prices and urging businesses to maintain prices for essential goods in eight categories.

Director-General of the Department of Internal Trade Wattanasak Sueaiam stated yesterday May 16 that the private sector is preparing to raise product prices by 10-15% if the government increases the minimum wage to 400 baht nationwide in October.

However, the final decision on the wage adjustment by the Ministry of Labour is still pending. As of now, there has been no increase in the minimum wage, so no products have seen a price hike, especially the essential consumer goods in the eight categories critical to daily living.

Previously, the department had requested cooperation from businesses to maintain current prices.

If the wage adjustment goes through, the department has prepared two measures to manage product and service prices.

The first measure involves administrative actions, linking essential consumer goods at special prices from producers to the public. This will be facilitated through Blue Flag stores, Blue Flag mobile shops, and affordable Blue Flag events, focusing on secondary provinces.

Price considerations

The second measure involves legal actions, with Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai emphasising that price considerations should balance the interests of both businesses and consumers.

Price adjustments will be based on cost considerations for individual items and product groups, said Wattanasak.

“We are currently requesting cooperation from businesses and affirm that there have been no product price increases. However, if the minimum wage rises, the affected product group to watch closely will be clothing, which relies heavily on manual labour.

“In contrast, the food and restaurant sector, which also uses intensive labour, might not be as significantly impacted due to high competition.

“Additionally, the Department of Internal Trade already has special price programs for ready-made meals in food courts of various malls.”

He further acknowledged that there are other cost factors involved in production that need to be considered, which may see both increases and decreases. Namely diesel prices, whereas its continuous increase affects overall production costs.

Price hikes

The Ministry of Commerce’s proactive stance aims to mitigate the impact of potential price hikes on consumers while ensuring a fair balance between the needs of businesses and the public.

The collaboration with businesses to freeze prices, particularly in essential categories, reflects an effort to maintain economic stability amid anticipated changes in labour costs during times of economic changes.

The Ministry of Commerce’s vigilance in monitoring and addressing these issues plays a crucial role in safeguarding the interests of both consumers and businesses.

The story Commerce ministry acts to control prices amid minimum wage hike as seen on Thaiger News.

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Author: Nattapong Westwood