PRIME Minister Hun Sen has ordered a private company to cease collecting a 200-riel (US$0.05) upgrade charge from vendors at O’Russey Market after a protest was staged outside his Phnom Penh residence Tuesday, according to a statement issued by the Council of Ministers Friday.
On April 21, City Hall granted the Rath Sensopheap Company the right to charge vendors at markets across the city a variety of fees over the next 13 years. In exchange, the company had to perform upgrades and maintenance on various markets and parks in the capital.
But Hun Sen has ordered officials from the Ministry of Economy and Finance and City Hall to cancel the daily 200-riel fee, restricting the company to collecting taxes for new parking lots in Daun Penh district and public toilets at Central Market.
The purpose of the order, the statement said, was to “avoid negative activities and promote the living of tiny vendors in Phnom Penh”.
Leng Sok Leang, a clothing vendor at O’Russey, said that although she applauded the swift action, it would be better if the government were to cancel its contract with the company altogether.