As fuel prices climb, Thailand’s delivery workers struggle

Photo via Times of Malta.

As Thailand’s fuel prices climb, some delivery drivers are saying the country’s attempts at subsidies aren’t helping them much. One motorcycle taxi driver told Thai PBS World that, even though the government offers a 250 baht discount per month on benzene or gasohol, it’s not worth it when he has to travel a long distance for it.

The driver added that not many gas stations have joined the scheme. Deputy Director-General of the Department of Energy Business Patteera Saipratumtip said that by May 20, about 1,000 gas stations had joined the “Win Save” discount programme.

Another worker, a delivery service bike rider, said he now spends an average of 300 baht a day on gasohol, instead of 200 baht. Gasohol currently costs 43.5 baht per litre, Benzene 95 costs 50.9 baht per litre.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s diesel price has also climbed, despite subsidies. The current subsidy has helped keep the price at about 32 baht per litre, even though the actual retail price is now 40 baht per litre. But raising the price cap from 30 baht per litre to 32 baht has already brought about outrage in Thailand.

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Last month, angry truck drivers rallied in front of Government House in Bangkok to demand that the price cap continue. And they called for the Energy Minister, Supattanapong Punmeechaow, to be removed. The truckers called for removing biodiesel from the system, which would help reduce the price by 1.5-2 baht per litre, as biodiesel prices are as high as 56.4 baht per litre.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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