The government can only cap diesel prices at 30 baht per litre until the end of this year, the Energy Ministry said on Tuesday, dismissing a trucker group’s demand for a further cut to 25 baht.
“The government will seek to keep the prices under 30 baht per litre as discussed with the private sector and relevant agencies,” Energy Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow told reporters.
Supattanapong said the ministry is proposing to the cabinet to issue extra 20-billion-baht loans to top up the State Oil Fund, in a bid to continue subsidizing diesel prices under 30 baht.
“The current global fuel prices are quite volatile,” he said, adding that the remaining budget in the oil fund will last until the year-end.
Meanwhile, The Land Transport Federation of Thailand (LTFT) is staging a follow-up protest called ‘Truck Power Season 2’ at the Ministry of Labour on Tuesday asking the government to lower diesel prices to 25 baht a litre.
The LTFT aims to convey a message and urge everyone to acknowledge the impact of rising oil prices on the general public and transportation operators.
The group began their demonstration in mid-October, when diesel prices rose beyond 30 baht, and their demand has yet to be met.
More than 500 truck drivers will also drive slowly on some of Bangkok’s main roads such as Bangna-Trat, Kanchanapisek, and Asia road.
“I apologize for the inconvenience to people commuting on the roads,” LTFT president Apichart Prairungruang said in a Facebook video.