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Rising petrol prices: Competition watchdog keeping close eye on anti-competitive behaviour

Rising petrol prices: Competition watchdog keeping close eye on anti-competitive behaviour

Fuel nozzles are seen at a petrol station. (Photo: iStock/kckate16)

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s competition authority will investigate and take firm enforcement action if it finds evidence of anti-competitive behaviour such as a coordinated increase in petrol prices.

This comes as global oil and domestic pump prices spike as a result of Russia-Ukraine tension, said Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng on Thursday (Mar 10).

Responding to a question from Member of Parliament Lim Wee Kiak (PAP-Sembawang) on what the Government is doing to prevent profiteering, Dr Tan said while pump prices are set by the market, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) keeps a close watch to ensure an open and competitive market.

Since the start of the year, Dr Tan said local retailers have been adjusting their pump prices periodically, as global oil prices and domestic pump prices rise due to tension between Russia and Ukraine.

He noted that soon after the war broke out, three retailers raised pump prices further on Feb 24 to Feb 25, while the remaining two retailers did not adjust prices.

“Overall, the increase in petrol and diesel prices reflect the rise in the price of crude oil over the past months,” he said.

Dr Tan said the Government will continue to monitor price movements in the retail petrol industry, adding that well-informed consumers are also a key deterrent against unreasonable pricing.

Consumers can compare retail pump prices as well as various discounts and rebates across retailers using Fuel Kaki, a retail petrol price comparison website developed by the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE).

Workers' Party (WP) chief and Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh asked if the Government would consider putting together a support package for private hire and taxi drivers to alleviate their costs, given the steep rise in petrol and diesel prices.

In response, Dr Tan said the Government is watching the situation very closely, and will not hesitate to roll out more support. 

However, at this particular point in time, he said the current slew of measures including support packages "appear" to have some impact in supporting these drivers. 

Source: CNA/vl(gr)


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