No approval yet for hike in retail prices of instant noodles: Jurin
Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said on Thursday that his ministry had not yet allowed instant noodle manufacturers to increase their retail prices.
Jurin said reports about certain brands of instant noodles raising prices were related to internal marketing systems of the manufacturers that affected wholesale prices.
“An increase in the retail prices of instant noodles for consumers has not been approved yet,” Jurin said.
The Commerce Ministry will try its best to handle this, he said, adding, "We will try to maintain the current retail prices as long as possible to minimise impact on consumers.”
Instant noodles are popular among low-income people, who are hardly able to make ends meet. Economic experts fear an increase in retail prices of instant noodles would further pressure inflation, which is already rising.
Jurin admitted that the rising oil prices had affected the cost of manufacturing, but the Commerce Ministry would try to maintain the current retail prices as long as possible.
“But we will have to make sure that the manufacturers do not suffer losses because if they stop manufacturing activities, there will be a shortage of products in the market,” Jurin said.
He said the ministry is trying to maintain retail prices of consumer goods in 18 categories but they will have to strike a balance among the manufacturers of the products, farmers who provide raw materials, and consumers.
Jurin was speaking to reporters in front of the passenger arrivals lounge at the Phuket International Airport as he arrived to attend the 4th Joint Trade Committee meeting at the ministerial level with Bhutan.
The meeting was held on Thursday at the Dusit Thani Laguna Hotel in Thalang district.
Jurin said Thailand was hosting the fourth meeting, which was crucial for establishing trade and economic ties between Thailand and Bhutan.
During the meeting, he would discuss with his Bhutanese counterpart cooperation in agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism affairs as well as other areas of cooperation.
Jurin said Bhutan could be a new export market for Thailand and tourists from Bhutan could also help boost the country’s economy.
Jurin said he would also preside over the opening of the E-Sport competition held by the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation (PAO) on Friday.
The deputy prime minister added that he would also represent the Cabinet to hand over a budget to the Phuket PAO for starting a sufficiency housing project, or repairing homes of underprivileged people in the island province.