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Cambodia Facing Increasing Fuel Cost Pressure

Soaring fuel prices are putting increasing pressure on the poor, and lawmakers from the Cambodian People's and Sam Rainsy parties said Tuesday they were seeking solutions from the Ministry of Finance.

Lawmakers say they plan to send a letter of inquiry to Finance Minister Keat Chhon asking what specific measures will be taken to reduce fuel prices, which have tripled in Cambodia this year.

A liter of gasoline currently costs 4,300 riel, more than $1, and more than many of Cambodia's poor earn per day.

Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Son Chhay told VOA Khmer he planned to write an official letter seeking solutions next week.

"We plan to ask [Keat Chhon] to reveal the government's measures to prevent the price from being high, and the reason for the hike," CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said.

The government can lower the taxes as a measure to alleviated the burden, Funcinpec lawmaker Monh Sophan said.

Fuel company representatives, meanwhile, say the price hike is due to Cambodia's dependence on fuel imports.

"It is causing a lot of difficulty for the general public, and also the people trying to make a living, especially for the people whose salaries are minimal, who are facing problems," economic analyst Kang Chandararoth told VOA Khmer.