Vientiane Economic Officials Patrol Wet Markets, Enforce Price Controls

Vientiane officials patrol wet markets to stop price gouging
Vientiane officials patrol Huakhua Market for opportunistic price gouging of essential goods such as pork. Photo courtesy of Vientiane Mai.

Government officials from Vientiane Capital were on the scene at wet markets to enforce compliance with the government’s instruction prohibiting price gouging of essential goods during the COVID-19 crisis.

The government has fixed the retail price of pork at LAK 40,000 per kg for type 1 (various cuts and ribs) and LAK 38,000 per kg for type 2 (pork belly and fatty cuts).

“After surveying eight large wet markets (Haykham, Nonkhor, Nongchan, Phonsavang, Phontong Chommany, Houayhong, Sikhai, Lao-Aussie, Huakhua) in the capital city, we found that three were in violation of the government’s orders: Nongchan, Lao-Aussie, and Huakhua markets,” says Deputy Director of Vientiane’s Department of Industry and Commerce Nantha Sanouvong.

In one instance, officers from the Vientiane Department of Industry and Commerce, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce’s Domestic Trade Department, and Saysettha District in conjunction with the economic police patrolled Hua Khua’s wet market in the capital to see if vendors were complying with the government’s instruction, according to local newspaper Vientiane Mai.

Two pork vendors have been fined because they were caught selling at prices higher than the rates set by the government. According to the law, vendors that sell above the set prices are fined anywhere from 1 to 3 million kip.

The public is urged to notify authorities of any violation of the government-regulated pricing by calling 1510.