The South Korean government will set up a task force to focus on price controls for key food items, such as milk and coffee, in response to the recent spike in food prices, officials said Sunday.
Under the TF, government officials will be responsible for monitoring the prices of each of the seven price-sensitive food items to keep a close eye on their prices, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
The items comprise instant noodles, bread, snacks, coffee, ice cream, sugar and milk.
"We will set up the TF after internal discussion and consultation with other related ministries and agencies," said an official from the agriculture ministry. "The TF is not a long-term organization, but a temporary one until prices stabilize."
The move is in line with the government's effort to put the high-flying prices of key food items under control.
According to data from Statistics Korea, the consumer prices index of ice cream vaulted 15.2 percent in October from a year ago, with milk and bread prices jumping 14.3 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively.
Prices of snacks, sweets and other frozen products rose by 10.6 percent on-year and those of coffee, tea and hot chocolate increased by 9.9 percent.
The country's overall consumer prices, a key gauge of inflation, rose 3.8 percent last month from a year earlier, with its on-year growth gaining pace for the third consecutive month.
In a ministerial-level meeting last week, Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho vowed to put price stability as a top policy priority, saying vice ministers of each ministry will be responsible for ensuring it. (Yonhap)
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