The government on Friday reiterated its commitment to continue capping the price of regular gasoline and diesel, arguing that its fuel price ceilings help reduce living costs for the low income segments of the population.
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Speaking at a press conference last week, Pan Sorasak, the Minister of Commerce, said the government’s aim when regulating the price of gasoline is to help those struggling to make ends meet.
“We do not control the price of premium gasoline,” the Minister said. “Why would we want to help the rich? No, our goal is to help the poor by reducing their day-to-day expenses.”
According to ministry spokesman Seang Thay, premium gasoline accounts for just 15 percent of total petrol consumption, while regular gasoline and diesel make up the rest.
“Therefore, the ministries of commerce, economy and finance and mines and energy got together with the big gas companies and decided to regulate only diesel and regular gasoline,” Mr Thay said.
“The private sector asked the government to not regulate the price of premium because they want to be able to compete and make a profit in this product,” he said.
The Ministry of Commerce has a fuel pricing mechanism that recalculates retail fuel price caps every 10 days using a formula that aims to reflect changes in global oil prices. According to Mr Thay, the retail price of regular gasoline has now been set at 4,150 riels per litre, while diesel sells for 4,000.
Last year, Cambodia imported oil from Thailand, China, Germany, Taiwan, Malaysia, France, Singapore and Vietnam.