Phuket officials ordered to crack down on flood price gouging

PHUKET: Phuket Vice Governor Somkiat Sangkaosuttirak today ordered Phuket Provincial Commercial Affairs acting chief Jarus Phetpakdee to conduct price checks on consumer goods in Phuket and to crack down on any irregularities.

At a meeting of top officials convened at Provincial Hall this morning expressly to tackle the issue, V/Gov Somkiat said, “We have received many complaints about the rising prices of consumer goods. Whoever raises prices illegally must be arrested. This is an emergency problem that must be solved.”

“I suggest that special teams be assigned to work on conducting price checks and other teams to arrest whoever breaks the law by increasing prices illegally,” said V/Gov Somkiat.

Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) President Paiboon Upatising joined the call for action.

“We are now in a crisis. If the committee does not check on Phuket suppliers they will definitely raise the prices on consumer goods. People are relying on us. We have to be strict on it,” he said.

Mr Paiboon said that Phuket officials had to discover a solution to the supply disruptions from Bangkok on their own.

“We cannot rely on Bangkok because they have the floods to take care of. We have to do our best to make sure Phuket has enough goods for its residents and tourists.

“I would also like to ask hotel owners not to overstock on supplies. I have heard that some hotels have enough stock to last a month. Please give other people a chance to survive,” he said.

Charan Sangsarn of the Phuket Chamber of Commerce explained that the problem was two-fold.

“The floods in Bangkok have affected many supply industries. Most of them closed because the floods directly damaged their factories and others had to close factories simply to prevent flood waters from damaging their equipment.

“The other problem is land transportation. Transport companies are not working because they cannot risk transporting goods from Bangkok to other provinces. If they accept to deliver goods for another company, then if they cannot deliver due to the floods, they will have to take full responsibility for all damages,” he said.

V/Gov Somkiat asked Mr Charan to have members of the Phuket Chamber of Commerce help the price-check task force.

Reports of any progress made by the task force will be made directly to Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha, he added.

— Chutharat Plerin

Phuket News

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