The Nation

Govt to extend subsidies until July

Cabinet yesterday decided to extend subsidy measures, such as free electricity and free bus and train rides, for another four months until June 30. The extension is expected to require another Bt9 billion.

Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij had proposed that the extension be for four months instead of two, so authorities could assess whether the free power scheme could be made permanent, Deputy government spokesman Watchara Kannikar said. Premier Abhisit Vejjajiva also asked him about studying the possibility of making free bus and train rides permanent.

Korn reported that the first six phases of these measures, from Feb 1, 2009 to December 31, 2010, cost the country Bt35.6 billion.

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