Ranariddh Lends Voice to Lament Over Gas Costs

National Assembly President Prince Norodom Ranariddh has joined the chorus of Cambodians de­crying the societal effects of rising gas prices.

The prince told journalists Thurs­­day that the rising prices of mar­ket goods are due to the price of gas. Everything is connected with gas, since Cambodia imports al­most all of its goods; the National As­sembly may have to invite government ministers for questioning on the matter if prices continue to rise, he said.

The Assembly is scheduled to meet Aug 22.

“Gas prices have had a big im­pact on the poor,” Prince Ranariddh said outside the Assembly.

International demand, high taxes in Cambodia and local gas com­­panies seeking large profit mar­gins are the major factors be­hind the higher gas prices, he said.

Prince Ranariddh said he is worried that voters will start to place blame on government partners Fun­­cinpec and the CPP for the high prices.

Bo Ra, a taxi driver who drives the Phnom Penh to Battambang route, said Thursday that he has raised his price from 20,000 riel ($5) to 25,000 riel ($6.25) because of the higher cost of gasoline.

Sang Savoeun, another taxi driver, complained about high gas taxes and wondered if the high­er prices are due to the in­volvement of powerful government officials in local petroleum com­panies.

“Gas prices cannot be beaten down,” he said.

One liter of gasoline costs 3,500 riel ($0.87) at one Caltex station in Phnom Penh Thursday morning. That’s up from about 2,700 riel ($0.67) per liter one year ago.

 

 

 

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