The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) is urging Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to issue steps to alleviate the financial strain on entrepreneurs following the impending increase in power bills.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said last week that it would increase the electricity rate for businesses by 20.5% to 5.69 baht per kilowatt-hour (unit) from the previous rate of 4.69 baht per unit. The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) expressed alarm over the decision, prompting the JSCCIB to petition the prime minister.
The Electricity Regulatory Commission (ERC) indicated that the new power rate was intended to help the state-owned Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) deal with its balance sheet after incurring 125 billion baht in losses from aiding the government with the electricity price ceiling.
The JSCCIB asks that the government establish a joint committee comprised of state and private sector officials to address the concerns of businesses. The agency stated that the increase in energy prices could have a negative impact on Thailand’s competitiveness, leading to a fall in foreign direct investments from multinational corporations.
The FTI announced last week that its members would be forced to raise product prices by 5 to 12 percent if the government hiked the commercial electricity tariff. (NNT)