If petrol companies are in cahoots and jack up prices of fuel in a coordinated fashion, the Singapore competition authority will take action.
This was the response of Second Trade and Industry Minister Tan See Leng in Parliament on March 10 after he was asked by Sembawang GRC MP Lim Wee Kiak about how the government is preventing profiteering by firms, in the wake of a spike in global oil and domestic pump prices due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Tan noted that two retailers did not adjust prices while three others did on Feb. 24 to 25, following the invasion of Ukraine.
He also said local retailers have been adjusting their pump prices periodically since the start of 2022.
“Overall, the increase in petrol and diesel prices reflect the rise in the price of crude oil over the past months,” he said.
Pump prices are set by the market, but the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) monitors and ensures an open and competitive market, he added.
The authorities will take action if they find evidence of anti-competitive behaviour, such as a coordinated increase in petrol prices.
Consumers deter unfair pricing
Touching on transparency of prices, Tan added that well-informed consumers are also a key deterrent against unreasonable pricing.
This was so as consumers can compare fuel prices and discounts using Fuel Kaki, a retail petrol price comparison website developed by the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE).
Help for private hire & taxi drivers?
Workers’ Party (WP) chief and Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh asked if a support package for private hire and taxi drivers is in the works to offset the steep rise in costs of petrol and diesel.
In response, Tan said the government will not hesitate to roll out more support, but will watch the situation very closely first.
Top photo via Google Maps
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