Thai government to resubmit subsidy proposal to Election Commission

Thailand‘s issues around electricity costs are continuing.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha remains determined that the government will resubmit a proposed 11 million baht (US$330 million) subsidy for household electricity bills to the Election Commission (EC) for approval.

The proposal, which was approved by the Cabinet last week, was previously rejected by the polling regulator, according to an unnamed source. When asked about the resubmission of the proposal to the EC, Prime Minister Prayut confirmed that it will be submitted along with a justification for its immediate approval, which he believes will be granted swiftly.

The constitution’s Section 169 stipulates that any budget allocation for emergencies by an outgoing Cabinet following a House dissolution must first obtain the endorsement of the poll agency.

Under the proposed Cabinet plan, the power subsidy would be extended for an additional four months, from May to August, for households consuming less than 300 units per month. This is intended to aid households facing financial difficulties, Bangkok Post reported.

Those using 1 to 150 units per month would see a reduction of 92.04 satang per unit, while those consuming 151 to 300 units would receive a reduction of 67.04 satang per unit. Approximately US$228 million will be sourced from the 2023 budget for emergency purposes to fund this initiative, which is expected to assist 18.36 million households.

Another measure designed to provide financial relief for individuals with high electricity bills is a proposed US$4.50 reduction for households using a maximum of 500 units for May only.

A new record of around 23.4 million households using more than 500 units is anticipated next month.

As a result, the Cabinet Secretariat urgently appealed to the EC for permission to pay a subsidy to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) to help alleviate a US$4.5 billion shortfall caused by the freezing of the fuel tariff in its calculation of energy prices.

However, Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, former EC member and current chief strategist of the Seri Ruam Thai Party, personally believes that the EC will not approve the energy subsidy plan until after the election on May 14. The EC is aware that approval of the proposal before that date could potentially breach the law.

Despite the caretaker government’s awareness of this issue, it continues to discuss the cash handout under the assumption that there is a chance the EC will grant its approval, according to Srisutthiyakorn.

Economy NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

Related Articles