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Government Regulates Gas Prices

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
on the 6th of November 2015, an employee of Total gas station is filling up the tank of a motorbike on Russian Bvd in Phnom Penh.

Gas stations around the country will be required to sell their products at a standardized price and any that overcharge will be fined, the government said yesterday.
The announcement came after a meeting of three ministries to discuss falling world oil prices and to set a standard price for oil-related products sold at retail outlets. The move to standardize prices at gas stations has been in the pipeline for some time, after global oil prices tumbled over the past two years.  
Yesterday’s meeting involved three ministries – commerce, economy and finance and mines and energy – and officials said the decisions made at the meeting apply to every retail gas station outlet in the country.
Officials took into account the average prices charged by Singapore commodity trader Platts and the various taxes involved in importing petroleum products, including customs, VAT, special taxes and other costs and expenditures. Officials also challenged retail gas stations in Cambodia to vie for market share by undercutting the prices set by the government.  
The prices agreed at yesterday’s meeting were on Super and Normal gas at $0.23 (about 923 riel) per liter, while diesel was $0.27 (1,107 riel) per liter, according to a letter released by the Commerce Ministry. 
The letter started that the department of private development of the Commerce Ministry must release updated prices to all retail gas stations every 10 days, on the first, the 11th and the 21st of each month. 
The ministry will fine any retailer who disobeys the set gas price rule $1,000 (4 million riel). The letter added that the government will hold meetings every six months with all gas retailers to check on prices and sales at each station in Cambodia. The letter noted that every expense involved in purchasing refined products from Singapore was taken into account by the Commerce Ministry. 
 Bin Many Mialia, the deputy managing director of PTT (Cambodia), told Khmer Times he had not yet received the letter on the gas price regulations, but added that all related regulations by the government to all gas retailers should follow. 
The price mechanism and the formula announced to the public and the set price for retail stations around the country was in response to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s criticism on September 22 last year, when he complained that retail operations in Cambodia were slow to respond when global oil prices plunged.  
Cambodia imported 2.55 million tons of petrol last year, up 64 percent from the 1.55 million tons in 2014, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce. Despite a surge in the amount of imports, the Kingdom spent less buying oil last year thanks to declining prices. 
Cambodia paid $926 million for oil last year, down 57 percent from the $1.46 billion in the year before, according to ministry figures. The Kingdom imports petroleum from Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand.

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