Now that Thailand has announced the upcoming end of its diesel price cap, Bangkok truckers have rallied today to demand that the price cap continues. Currently, the price for diesel is capped is 30 baht per litre. But On Tuesday, Thailand’s Energy Minister said the retail price is now at 40 baht per litre, so the government have had to subsidise 10 baht of each litre to keep the pump price at 30 baht.
Now the government is preparing to lower the subsidy that has enabled the price cap, and the minister said they would try to raise the price slowly, starting on May 1.
Today, the truckers rallied in front of Government House to insist the government keep the 30 baht per litre cap. And they called for the Energy Minister, Supattanapong Punmeechaow, to be removed. Demands also include reducing the excise tax on fuel to 0.20 baht per litre, to equal that on aviation fuel. The truckers called for removing biodiesel from the system, which will help reduce the price by 1.5-2 baht per litre, as biodiesel prices are as high as 56.4 baht per litre.
In February, truck drivers threatened to camp out in front of if Thailand’s energy ministry if the minister didn’t lower diesel prices in seven days. It’s been a few months, and while the truckers may not have camped out (yet), they sure are making noise. The president of the Land Transport Federation of Thailand, and representatives of transport operators, submitted a letter addressed to PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to a government representative.
Prayut has called on the public to have sympathy with the government’s limitations in its ability to control prices. Prayut stressed that now is the time for everyone to cooperate.
SOURCE: Thai PBS World
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