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PITO calls for voluntary price freeze

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PITO calls for voluntary price freeze | Thaiger

PHUKET: The Phuket Provincial Internal Trade Office (PITO) on Tuesday called for shops and restaurants to join its Blue Flag voluntary price freeze program, aimed at giving consumers some relief from rising prices.

Prices of many everyday necessities have risen in Phuket, reflecting price increases for raw materials, PITO Chief Wassana Utsaharam said.

The strong baht has driven up the cost of imports, including oil, she added.

Under the Blue Flag project, shops and vending stalls are inspected by PITO officers to ensure they comply with all hygiene, quality, price and price-display requirements. Those that pass are given Blue Flags to display.

As part of the project, large retailers including Makro, Big C and Super Cheap have set up “Blue Flag corners”, where 20 different consumer goods defined by PITO as “everyday necessities” are available at discounts of 2% to 20%, K. Wassana said.

Among the discounted products are staples such as rice, fish sauce, milk and laundry detergent.

Restaurants are also being encouraged to join the project, she added.

Although her office has no authority to control prices of fresh cooked food, which K. Wassana said has been affected by rising cooking gas prices, PITO since December 7 has encouraged fresh food vendors to join the voluntary price freeze by becoming “Blue Flag Friends”.

About 10 restaurants have joined the Blue Flag project, charging 20 baht for certain meals. Restaurants that have been rated Blue Flag Friends have dishes available at 25 baht each, she said.

Although some restaurants originally intended to charge just 10 baht a meal, economic pressures have already forced them to charge from 12 to 17 baht per meal, K. Wassana added.

PITO will take “immediate action” against vendors found flying the Blue Flag but charging higher prices than allowed under the program, she warned.

She extended this warning to any vendors not displaying prices for items that PITO regulates. She urged consumers to inform PITO of any such lawbreakers by calling the PITO hotline at 1569, or by contacting PITO (Tel: 076-219586, Email at phuket@dit.go.th).

 

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