Fuel Decrease of 100 Riel Provides Small Reprieve for Population

A move to cut fuel prices by 100 riels a litre has been welcomed for handing a slight reprieve to the rising cost of living faced across Cambodia
The Ministry said the decrease is to reduce people's daily expenses even if by a small amount. Kiripost/Siv Channa
The Ministry said the decrease is to reduce people's daily expenses even if by a small amount. Kiripost/Siv Channa

“Although not much”, the reduction of 100 riels off gasoline and diesel this week gives a little reprieve to struggling businesses and individuals.

According to a Ministry of Commerce announcement on Wednesday, retail prices at all petrol depots have been set at 4,513 riels per litre for regular EA92 gasoline and 4,563 riels per litre for DO50ppm diesel.

The Ministry said the decrease is to reduce people's daily expenses even if by a small amount. It added that the reduction forms part of a contribution from the Cambodian fuel distribution companies as set out by Prime Minister Hun Sen, reducing fuel retail prices by 6.5 cents a litre.

The Ministry added that it does not set the retail price of fuel in Cambodia, saying it only quotes the fluctuation of oil prices in the international market to calculate.

Although not much

Vorn Pov, President of the Independent Association of Informal Economy, said that the reduction is a significant move. “Although not much, it shows that the government cares about the people,” he said.

Pov added that the government should be admired for finding some sort of solution for people, especially tuk tuk drivers who earn little income every day.

“Sometimes, families with many children to care for live in a cramped rented room, so [their] daily expenses have also increased,” Pov told Kiripost.

He added that when the price of gasoline rose, it had a huge impact on individuals and society as a whole.

Taxi drivers have lost a large part of their customers and the rising prices affected investments in the country, Pov said.

He also said fuel prices will continue to hurt people amid the ongoing Russia and Ukraine war. Reducing the cost of fuel imports is also a complimentary point that governments should pay attention to.

Sach Brathna, a food delivery man and year two student at Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (PUC), welcomed the drop in fuel prices, even if it is little in comparison to the previous price hike.

“In the last few years, gasoline went up to 6,000 riels per litre and I was so concerned and stressed as a man who left his hometown to live in Phnom Penh alone. I have to spend a lot on rent and school fees, so I have to try to deliver a lot, day and night sometimes,” Brathna said.

Brathna said often he works such long hours that he does not get enough sleep. He added that if he delivers to nearby clients, the cost of transporting is less than to distant customers. However, if he only delivers to distant buyers, he spends a lot of on gasoline.

He said, “What can we do if we are poor? Hopefully, the price of gasoline will continue to go down.”

Bun Theary, a teacher at a primary school in Kandal province, told Kiripost that besides teaching students, she also volunteers, drives to many places and spends a lot of money on refuelling.

She questioned why when the price decrease was only 100 riels, but when it went up, it was almost 1,000 to 2,000 riels per litre.

She spends her days driving far from home, sometimes to Phnom Penh and places to volunteer with no payment. Despite the challenges she faces due to little monthly earnings, she said she is not concerned as she loves her job.