PRIME Minister Hun Sen called on petrol companies to decrease their prices Wednesday, saying that retailers have taken advantage of global price rises to hike up pump prices but have not dropped them in line with recent decreases.
"If all of you [Sokimex, Total, Caltex, Tela] do not decrease your prices, you should at least stop hiking up the prices," Hun Sen said during the inauguration ceremony of the new Monivong Bridge over the Tonle Bassac river. "I always wonder why, when the world market price falls, you all don't decrease your prices."
Heu Heng, deputy director general of local petrol giant Sokimex, said he would address pump prices again soon, but dismissed suggestions they were inappropriate. He said that recently his company had only increased its price by 50 riels (1.2 US cents) per litre.
"We will have a meeting to discuss this, but I don't think that the prices are too high," he said, pledging that the company would keep the prices stable even if global oil prices rise again. "We will follow [the prime minister's demand] even if global prices increase," he said.
He added that global petrol prices continued to rise because of the weak US dollar and that many other goods had also increased in price.
Kok Tho, 38, a taxi driver who plies the route between Phnom Penh and Takeo province, said that when the price of gasoline increased, it made his business difficult by adding to the current drop off in passenger numbers.
"I want the prices to decrease to between 2,700 riels and 2,900 riels per litre. If they keep increasing like this, I cannot earn enough for my family to survive," he said. "All of the Cambodian people are asking the same as I am."