BANGKOK, 6 August 2012 – The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) has expressed support for the government’s plan to float the prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and diesel late this year.
UTCC’s Center for Economic and Business Forecasting (CEBF) Director Dr Thanawat Polvichai has revealed that he agrees with the government’s fuel price restructuring policy, which is aimed at making the prices move in line with the market mechanism. He reasoned that the policy could help encourage Thai motorists to consume less energy as well as prepare Thailand for the upcoming formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
The CEBF Director added that the government should increase the fuel prices in a gradual manner. According to him, the LPG price should be adjusted by only 1-2 baht per kilogram in the fourth quarter of this year, when the Thai economy is expected to start to recover.
At the same time, Dr Thanawat noted that the diesel excise tax should also be raised by only 50 satang per liter because the inflation rate is still low. If the adjustment is made next year, when the Thai economy has recovered and oil prices in the world market have risen, it might have an impact on consumers’ sentiment. He also urged the government to formulate measures and regulations to stabilize product prices as well as production costs for business operators.