Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the Ministry of Energy to make preparations to handle increasing fuel prices, with global oil prices expected to continue rising this month. Pump prices in Thailand went up seven times in the previous month.
The Ministry of Energy has been tasked with utilizing the Oil Fund to cushion retail fuel prices in order to minimize the impact on the consumers, especially those of diesel. The ministry is set to intervene in the diesel price if the pump price of B10 rises above 30 baht per liter. It is currently retailing at 28 baht and 29 satang, three baht below Diesel B7.
According to Prime Minister’s Office Spokesperson Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, Gen. Prayut asked that the utilization of the Oil Fund take into account the best interests of the consumers and the industry, while limiting burdens on state coffers.
The Oil Fund has played a crucial role in mitigating the impact of changing fuel prices on the national economy. Since 24 March 2020, the fund has fixed the retail price of cooking gas for 15-kilogram LPG tanks at 318 baht. The Committee on Energy Policy last month resolved to extend the subsidy on cooking gas until the end of December, in order to maintain the current retail price. (NNT)