Ahead of a planned minimum wage hike, the Ministry of Commerce has called on producers and vendors of products not to increase prices as only a minor impact on production cost is expected.
Minister of Commerce Sontirat Sontijirawong has convened a meeting with representatives of the Board of Trade of Thailand, the Federation of Thai Industries and 12 trade associations, including the Thai Rice Packers’ Association, as well as more than 100 producers, wholesalers, and retailers from all industries. The meeting was aimed to discuss possible effects of the minimum wage rise and to collect relevant opinions from the attendees.
On this occasion, Mr. Sontirat requested cooperation from all sides to refrain from adjusting up the prices of their goods. He claimed studies have indicated that a wage hike of 5-22 baht would affect the cost of production by merely 0.0182-1.0225 percent since most products are made by machinery. Should any operators see the need to increase their prices following the wage adjustment, the minister suggested they notify the Department of Internal Trade (DIT) of the matter and consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis.
DIT officials will be sent out to inspect product prices in a bid to prevent consumers from being taken advantage of. Complaints against unfair pricing or unauthorized price increases could be lodged with DIT Hotline 1569. Violators would be subject to a jail term up to seven years and/or a fine up to 140,000 baht.