Energy minister insists diesel price already frozen below market price amid protest

Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow said today that the government has already frozen the pump price of diesel at 30 baht per litre, without which the price would have increased to 35 baht/litre in accordance with the global increase in oil prices.

His remark was in response to repeated demands by the Land Transport Federation of Thailand (LTFT) that the retail diesel fuel price be capped at 25 baht/litre, to ease the financial burden on truck drivers.

Truckers associated with the LTFT staged a mobile protest today (Monday) by driving a convoy of trucks from the Bang Sue grand station to different locations in Bangkok. Another protest is also planned for tomorrow.

He defended the government’s decision to reduce the excise tax on jet fuel and to refuse an excise tax cut on diesel oil for trucks, saying that the decision is based on which industries are most affected by oil price increase.

He insisted that the government has already cut excise tax on diesel by five baht per litre.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has appealed to the protesting truckers to understand the oil situation and claimed that the government has been doing its best to ease the burden on everyone.

He said that global oil price increase has affected everyone, adding that all countries in the region are suffering, with the exception of Malaysia which has an oil surplus.

He also said that most industries are aware that energy prices are dictated by the free market mechanism and that they are still bearing the burden of current prices.

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