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Truck operators threaten to rally if diesel price cap lifted


The Land Transport Association of Thailand is threatening to hold rallies outside soon if the government lifts the 30-baht price cap on diesel.

Apichart Prairungruang, the association’s president, said on Monday that truck operators who are part of the group will show up at Government House to submit a letter to PM Prayut Chan-o-cha demanding that the 30-baht price cap continues beyond April 30.

The Energy Ministry has said the Oil Fund, which is used to subsidise retail diesel prices, is running out so the subsidy must be lifted at the end of this month.

Apichart, however, pointed out that if the price of diesel were to rise beyond 30-baht per litre, then it would affect all sectors and the public would end up bearing the burden of rising prices. Also, he said, a rise in diesel prices would push up transportation costs.

“Transportation fees will rise by 3 per cent for every baht that is added to the price of diesel,” he said.

He added that truck operators actually want diesel to cost no more than 25 baht per litre, but are willing to accept the 30-baht price tag due to the fallout of the Russia-Ukraine war.

“But we will not be able to tolerate it if the government lets the price go above 30 baht. The government must think twice because the price of oil affects the cost of manufacturing, and subsequently the entire economy,” Apichart added.

Apart from calling on Prayut to delay the lifting of the price cap, the association will also urge him to fire the energy minister and cut the excise tax on diesel to 0.20 baht per litre.

The association will also urge the government to temporarily suspend the use of bio-diesel, as it pushes up the price of normal diesel by 1.5 to 2 baht per litre. Also, he said, the government will be urged to not add the cost of transportation when it sets the price of fuel.

Apichart did not say when the association will stage the planned rally.

Published : April 25, 2022

By : THE NATION