Truckers have made their way toward the Ministry of Energy to submit their demands and proposals in response to the heightened prices of fuel in Thailand, which followed the continued increase of global oil prices.
The Land Transport Federation of Thailand (LTFT) on Tuesday (16 Nov) staged a demonstration by truck drivers who drove in convoys toward the Ministry of Energy in Bangkok to demand that the government cap the retail diesel price at 25 baht per liter for one year.
The so-called ‘Truck Power’ campaign called for trucks operated by LTFT members to be driven to the Ministry of Energy from Bangkok’s outlying highways such as the Outer Ring Road and Bang Na-Trat highway. The truckers said the aim was to submit their demands and proposals relating to the problem of rising oil prices, which they said have affected transportation costs in Thailand. Some drivers of passenger vehicles have also joined in and parked their vehicles in the vicinity of the Ministry of Energy. Meanwhile, police officers and security guards were facilitating traffic and keeping order at the Energy Complex on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, where the Ministry of Energy was located.
The truckers’ demands were unchanged from previously. They asked that the retail diesel price be capped at 25 baht per liter and the excise on diesel be cut by 5 baht per liter for one year. They also demanded that adjustments be made to the domestic fuel price structure and surcharges and fees associated with oil prices be reduced.
LTFT Chairman Apichart Prairungruang told reporters he previously discussed the issue of oil prices with the minister of energy and presented the truckers’ demand for the diesel price to be capped at 25 baht per liter. He said this demand was not heeded and truckers responded by increasing their pressure on the government via a 20% reduction in freight trips nationwide. The chairman added that if the government remained unresponsive, the pressure on it will be elevated by means of a 10% increase on all types of transportation fees on December 1 while other measures might also come into play.
Association of Southern Logistics & Transport President Kittichai Thammasiriphong said he wanted the government to revisit the problem of diesel price structure, which was the main cost for transport service businesses. He noted that his association would like the government to decouple diesel from biodiesel fuel for the time being, as the price of biodiesel was now much higher than diesel oil. (NNT)