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PHUKET: In a bid to offer some relief from the spiralling cost of living in Phuket, the Phuket Provincial Cooperatives Office is holding a “discount products fair” in front of its offices in Phuket Town.

Phuket Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkaosutthirak yesterday officiated the opening of the week-long fair on Damrong Road, in the old government quarter of the town around Provincial Hall.

On sale at discounted prices are items such as household consumer products and fresh produce, including fresh vegetables, seafood and meat.

Selling the items are members of small community-based cooperatives, mostly from Phuket, but also from nearby provinces.

The fair is being held until May 18 to help people cope with the rising prices of everyday goods, explained Phuket Cooperatives Office chief Tewaklit Khemkao.

“People are now suffering from the rising cost of living. We would like to help them by reducing their living expenses with the discount products at this fair,” he said.

“This is also the best opportunity for us to highlight the goodwill offered by Thai cooperatives and local farmers,” he added.

Joining the fair are the likes of food-producing giants such as Charoen Pokphand Foods PCL (better known in Thailand as “CP Foods”) down to local cooperatives such as the Phuket Shrimp Farm Club, among others, Mr Tewaklit explained.

“People who come here can expect to mind many different kinds of products at prices much cheaper than normal,” he said.

Among the examples Mr Tewaklit gave were five-kilogram bags of 100% jasmine rice at 195 baht each, 30 ‘size number 3’ eggs for 80 baht, cooking oil at 41 baht per bottle, high-quality shrimp paste at 120 baht per one-kilogram pack, red pork at 130 baht per kilo, sugar at 23.5 baht per kilo, prawns for 129 baht per kilo and organic vegetables from 20 baht per bundle

“And many other cheap products can be found at the fair,” he said.

As of yesterday the Department of Internal Trade listed the maximum price for selling size number 3 eggs at fresh markets in Southern Thailand at 2.8 baht each, or 84 baht per tray of 30.

The current maximum price allowed red pork sold at fresh markets in Southern Thailand is 135 baht per kilo.

The notice also reminded fresh-produce vendors that charging more than the mandated maximum prices listed by the Department of Internal Trade incurred a penalty of up to seven years in prison or a fine of up to 140,000 baht, or both.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong