June 15, 2014 00:00 By The Sunday Nation 5,851 Viewed
THAILAND needs to revamp its energy structure and management as well as find alternative energy sources to ensure national security, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, chief of the National Council for Peace and Order, said late on Friday.
During his weekly TV show, Prayuth rebutted the claims of some activists that the cost Thais bear for energy are too high due to unfair pricing and management, as Thailand can produce energy from its own from natural resources.
“In short, let’s say almost all the energy [consumed domestically] is imported, including gas and oil. We have to understand this first. If it’s not like this, the [responsible] committees must consider again. Right now, our country has no capacity to produce [energy for consumption] by ourselves.” He said Thai energy giant PTT should come out and clarify its role and benefit as a state enterprise and a listed company. He said Thailand did not have as many energy reserves as many seem to think. So, alternative energy sources must be studied and planned well so that the country is not very dependent on other countries.
Prayuth floated the idea of locals dealing with and reduce the smuggling of low-quality agricultural products from other countries to enjoy subsidies in Thailand. “If we want to do it right, we might have to make exceptions. I have been considering some measures to sustainably manage and reduce the exploitation of such a right. The smuggling doesn’t mean bringing [products] for sale in our country. We will collect it and let the locals [in special economic zones] manage it as well as improve the quality. Once the quality becomes better, we won’t sell it domestically but may export it to other countries.”