MTI to review retail fuel market amid rising pump prices
SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) will be reviewing the retail fuel market here, covering how global developments and the practices of retail operators here have influenced the recent increase in prices.
Ms Low Yen Ling, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, told Parliament on Tuesday (July 5) that the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) has contacted retail fuel operators for data on fuel price movements.
Ms Low was responding to a question from Mr Don Wee Boon Hong, Member of Parliament (MP) for Chua Chu Kang Group Representation Constituency (GRC), on whether the Government would regulate petrol and diesel pump prices in light of rising prices "amid record profits for oil companies".
Ms Low responded that any governmental move to regulate petrol and diesel pump prices would cause disruptions in the market, benefit car owners that consume more petrol and discourage the push towards energy-efficient modes of transport.
"Instead, the Government's approach is to ensure that we have a competitive fuel retail market," she said.
She added that the the CCCS monitors the fuel market closely and "will not hesitate to investigate" firms that exhibit any anti-competitive behaviour.
She also assured MPs that the Government "continues to ensure that we have a conducive and also competitive business environment where consumers have options, consumers have choices and consumers are able to enjoy competitive prices".
This came after Mr Wee's supplementary question about the themes of the review and how it will ensure that fuel prices are representative of competitive global prices.
Ms Joan Pereira, MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC, suggested that the Government sets up a cooperative to supply petrol and help moderate the costs of fuel.
Ms Low said that any such cooperative would not necessarily be able to offer lower prices unless it could secure lower cost supplies.
She also urged motorists to use the Fuel Kaki website, which was developed by the Consumers Association of Singapore, to compare the price of petrol and diesel across retailers.
Last month, fuel pump prices for 98-octane broke the S$4 barrier to reach up to S$4.04 a litre though prices have since fallen somewhat while remaining elevated.