Protests against LPG price hike resume today


BANGKOK, Sept 10 – Activists vowed to demonstrate in front of PTT headquarters again today to protest the government’s increase in the price of cooking gas.

The protests were separately organised by various groups which occupied Vibhavadi Rangsit Road yesterday. They set up a stage, loudspeakers and a large LCD screen, and sought signatures to endorse a move to dismiss Energy Minister Pongsak Ruktapongpisal, from his Cabinet post.

The government has allowed an increase in the price of liquefied petroleum gas for household use at 50 stang/kg every month, from September 1, until it reaches Bt24.82/kg. The current price is Bt18.13/kg.

The higher price is based on the local production cost, and not the global market price which was higher than Bt30/kg, according to the government.

It said earlier that the LGP price hike is necessary to minimise subsidies to the depleting state-operated Oil Fund.

Employees of PTT and its subsidiaries in the complex were allowed to leave their offices from 1pm yesterday and were instructed not to wear clothing with PTT logos, for their safety. They were also told to avoid driving to work.

The Administrative Court is scheduled to call a trial today in a lawsuit filed by the Consumers Foundation against the prime minister and five high-ranking officials for abusing their power in announcing the LPG price increase.