Coalition partner Democrats blast energy minister for diesel policy

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An MP for the ruling coalition blasted the government’s measures to control the local diesel price and called for the energy minister to resign for the rising prices and for postponing the parliament debate session that was scheduled to address the issue on Thursday.  

“The issue was proposed since the closing of the previous general session and the matter is important for the people who are suffering from the problem, therefore, I do not agree with the postponement,” the Democrat MP for Ratchaburi, Akkaradej Wongpitakroj, told reporters at the parliament building.

“The energy minister should stop clinging on to the prime minister and look to take care of the people instead,” he said.

A general parliamentary debate took place on Thursday.

Energy minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow is attending an international forum in Japan with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha.

Akkaradej said the ministry of energy’s policy to hike the diesel price was the wrong move and Supattanapong is directly at fault for this mistake by the government.

The government decided last month to lift the ceiling on the local diesel price from 30 baht per litre to 35 baht per litre as the oil fund that is being used to provide the subsidy is used up.

Akkaradej said he has been asking the government to continue to hold the ceiling at 30 baht for a couple more months to help people and businesses cope with rising inflation and production cost that was driven by rising global energy prices but the government failed to listen.

“The prime minister asked the minister to come and answers these questions in parliament but the minister postponed. He is neglecting his responsibilities to the parliament and the people so he should no longer be in this position, he should resign,” Akkaradej said.

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