The Russia-Ukraine war could spark a rise in inflation, warned the Cambodian premier, noting the government is exploring gold mining to top up its coffers after failed oil explorations.
Making the comments on Thursday at a ceremony to inaugurate Chom Chao flyover and subway, Prime Minister Hun Sen said, “What we worry about is the impact of the Russian-Ukraine war. It may cause inflation.”
“In Singapore, bread goes up in price by 15 percent and 17 percent in transportation because of the rising price of gasoline; that’s why it has reached this point. This is an impact that may reach us.”
However, some citizens said they have already been affected by the rising price of gasoline.
Rickshaw driver, Toch Yorn, said rising gasoline prices are impacting his business.
“This is more than Covid. During Covid, gasoline prices were better, but now the price is more than double. It’s because of the war in Europe,” Yorn said.
Chea Lai, a photographer and tuk tuk driver, said his income has declined while prices of goods have gone up, making life difficult.
“Before we spent 20,000 riels. Now, we have to spend up to 30,000 riels,” the 40-year-old said. “Our income has decreased while spending is more. The current living conditions are difficult.”
In the speech, Hun Sen said the country broke a daily record on Wednesday, recording tax revenues of $236 million. Tax revenue within the last 30 days was $620 million, while tax revenue from January to the end of March was $1.1 billion, he added.
He said for March, the country is on track to earn $700 million from tax because it is the month that companies pay their profit taxes.
He added oil exploration faced problems because the drilling had not been fruitful. He added the company even stole a ship that contained oil. Instead, the government has now turned to gold mining explorations.
“We are beginning to use our partial natural resources that we have been exploring to serve the needs of people and the nation,” said Hun Sen.
He noted that the country has produced 2.275 kilograms of gold in the nine months since the mining mission started.
(Additional reporting by Phin Rathana)