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Action on prices of flu gear

Due to a supply shortage leading to high prices for masks to prevent type-A (H1N1) influenza, the Internal Trade Department has included the masks and hand-cleaning gels on its Watch List, to ensure adequate supplies and fair prices.


After meeting with 20 makers of masks, liquid soaps, alcohol gels and medical products, Commerce Minister Porntiva Nakasai instructed the department to monitor closely the prices and stockpiles of face masks and hand-cleaning gel.

"The addition of the two products onto the department's Watch List will prevent speculation of those products during this period of high demand in the market," she said.

Under the Watch List regulations, any price changes should be reported to the Commerce Ministry. Traders caught speculating will be punished with a maximum seven years in jail, a fine of Bt140,000 or both.

The department said many complaints had been filed with the Commerce Ministry about increases in the prices of face masks and hand-cleaning gel. Some substandard products are also being sold.

Meanwhile, the department is setting pork prices in each region weekly, in order to ensure fair retail prices to consumers.

Pork retails at Bt100 to Bt110 per kilogram in the greater Bangkok area, while in other regions the price is Bt1 or Bt2 higher, because of the cost of transportation.

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