PTT chief lashes back at social media reports
PTT chief executive on Monday rebutted social media reports that, among others, accused the company of enjoying the monopoly of Thailand's energy sector and opening a secret account in the Cayman Islands.
Pailin Chuchottaworn, president and CEO, said at the press conference that there are faults in social media reports in the past few weeks.
He denied the report that his own salary was as high as Bt4.7 million. He said that he was just among 10 PTT executives who earned a combined amount of Bt69 million in 2013.
On the secret account on the Cayman Islands, he said such was impossible given that PTT’s operations are under the scrutiny by the Auditor General’s Office. If that happens, the office must have spotted it, he said.
He also denied the report that PTT has monopolised the energy sector and reaped enormous profits. He noted that PTT’s retail oil business, which controls a 39 per cent market share, generates only 15-16 per cent of the company’s earnings. Meanwhile, retail oil prices in Thailand are based on Singapore prices due to Singapore’s prominence in the regional energy trade.
He also rebutted that Thailand’s oil reserves are not as high as rumoured, citing the Energy Ministry’s finding that Thailand’s reserves will last in 7 years. This forces PTT to ink contracts for supplies from foreign countries, he said.
Meanwhile, sales of LPG to petrochemical firms are not taxed because value-added tax is levied on the value of finished products from their plants. Meanwhile, sales of LPG as fuel are subjected to excise tax and VAT.
Asked about the energy reform pending the National Council for Peace and Order’s consideration, he said personally he preferred the free-market approach. He also insisted that the Oil Fund should be kept, as a government tool to prevent shortages and ease price volatility.