Opposition demands a government response over record gasoline prices
Demands for answers in Cambodia over record gas prices
PHNOM PENH Cambodia's political opposition has demanded a government response over record petrol prices, which remain at over one US dollar a litre despite falling global oil costs.
"Why has the price not gone down when the cost of oil worldwide has dropped ... I want an answer from (Finance Minister) Keat Chhon," opposition leader Sam Rainsy wrote in a letter, dated January 12.
"This creates hardships for the Cambodian people," he added, saying the minister has so far refused to respond to his questions.
Crude oil prices closed at below 53 dollars a barrel Friday -- levels not seen since June 2005 -- after reaching highs in mid-2006 of around 78 dollars per barrel.
Cambodian petrol prices more than doubled as a result of the global surge last year, pushing up the cost of other essential goods as well.
While there has been a slight ease in pump prices, petrol in Cambodia shows no signs of dropping sharply.
Government officials say they have no control over fuel costs, although some have suggested that the finance ministry could urge gas companies for an across-the-board cut.
Gas companies in Cambodia have little reason to lower their prices once international markets drive them up amid a dearth of competition. There are no government subsidies to soften the impact of higher energy costs.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Gasoline prices going ....
An article published by AFP and copied by KI:
The situation on the local market is far from clear. Besides the big players, some with obviously good connections to the government there are a lot of 'illegal' petrol players, small time pumps selling to motorcyclists. 'Illegal', as the petrol is smuggled in from either Vietnam and/or Thailand. But as they are allowed to sell at vitually every corner, they can't be illegal. Either way someone somewhere is making a healthy profit especially if the world market prices are falling.