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Ministry aims to control fast food prices

THAILAND: The Commerce Ministry is prepared to resort to legal means to curb rising prices for popular Thai dishes.

Saturday 9 July 2011, 08:19AM

The Director-General of the Department of Internal Trade, Watcharee Wimuktayon, has announced that the department is planning to set standard prices for the most popular Thai fast food dishes such as chicken fat with rice, barbecued pork with rice, stir-fried basil dishes, Thai omelet, and various curries.

Initially, the standard prices for these dishes will be between B25 to 30.

While asking for restaurants’ cooperation, the department is also planning to increase the number of the low-priced “blue flag” restaurants from around 4,200 to 10,000 this year.

Mrs Watcharee claims the new price standard is aimed at bringing fairness for consumers who have been complaining that sellers have been taking advantage of them by not lowering prices despite the lower costs of ingredients.

The department noted that low- and middle-income consumers have changed their eating behaviour over the past few years, from cooking at home to buying ready-made foods.

This has resulted in fast food prices rising by about 15 per cent in the past year.

The government has been trying to control prices of ingredients such as pork and chicken meat so the department argues that sellers should lower their prices accordingly.

The department believes that vendors will comply with the call to lower their prices, but is prepared to enforce price ceilings if this does not happen. – TAN Network



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