THE price of food products will be controlled during the Lao New Year (Pi Mai Lao) holiday and all international borders will continue their import and export services over this period.
Services at international border crossings will not be disrupted during the holiday, and no bans or new changes will be imposed, the Export and Import Department Director General, Soulinhon Philavong, told Vientiane Times last week.
During the holiday, the Department of Domestic Trade will work to keep the prices of food products under check to make sure sellers do not take advantage of consumers.
However, traders believe that the price of vegetables and some food products should increase over the Lao New Year holiday because demand is higher and the supply short.
The number of vendors is likely to decrease as many shut up shop to be with families to celebrate the New Year.
Despite the industry and commerce sectors requesting local authorities to check prices at this time of the year, traders continue to take advantage of consumers. Special occasions are a good opportunity for them to sell their products for a higher profit.
During the holiday, Vientiane industry and commerce authorities said the price of fish should not exceed 16,500 kip ($1.91) per kg at the farm gate, no more than 17,500 kip wholesale, and 20,000 kip per kg retail.
The price of pigs at the farm gate was not to exceed 18,000 kip per kg, and 21,000 kip for processed pork, including bones, which traders should then sell for 33,000 kip for grade A and 30,000 kip for grade B.
However, the price of beef and buffalo meat stands at 65,000 to 70,000 kip per kg this year.
For other goods, traders are being urged to display all prices in kip.
Most people in Laos are dependent on agriculture, even as the country imports crops from overseas. It also imports goods from Thailand, China and Vietnam.
To ensure that quality products are supplied during the Pi Mai Lao holiday, local authorities especially those in the border provinces of Attapeu, Savannakhet and Luang Namtha as well as Vientiane are closely checking for fake and expired goods at target markets.
They have also directed district industry and commerce offices and market authorities to keep a tab on prices. VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK