The government has said that supplies of salt are secured for the remainder of the year and that market prices for the strategic domestic commodity remain stable.
Speaking earlier this week, Huon Sorangsey, Director of Industrial Affairs Department at the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation, said that the importance of the commodity has meant that the government has made it one of their top priorities.
“We have monitored the situation very closely and salt production between January and March yielded a stock of 30,000 tonnes,” he said.
Of this amount, Huon said that some 4000 tonnes were imported from India, with the remainder being produced domestically. This is despite a labour shortage in the country’s salt fields in the recent harvesting season.
“We are not afraid of a salt shortage and can guarantee the sustainability of supplies. Prices will also not be allowed to rise much beyond the current price of 1,500 and 2,000 per kilogram,” he added, allaying fears that the essential product could run out during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Reinforcing this message, Huon added that the government is currently looking for a factory with modern technology to improve and expedite salt production processes.
Thaung Thyda, founder of Thaung Enterprise, a local salt production company, told Khmer Times that they are having a good year so far and have 9000 tonnes of the commodity in stock. However, she called on the government to consider affording the industry the same financial support that has been extended to other sectors to ensure they survive the economic hardships caused by COVID-19.
“We have called on the government to give us the same tax exemptions and bank aid measures that have been given to the farming industry. It is also important that imported salt is restricted – both legal and illegal volumes – as it kills the local market. This measure is especially vital now,” she said.