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Sontirat taps entrepreneurs, experts for solutions to enable economic recovery

May 09. 2020
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By THE NATION

Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong has urged entrepreneurs and experts to suggest solutions for helping the country's economic recovery after the Covid-19 crisis.

He made his remarks after visiting the oil depots and gas stations of PSP Specialities in Samut Sakhon province on Friday (May 8). He said he aimed to hear out oil depot operators’ problems during the Covid-19 crisis.

“We found that the demand for various fuels had dropped as people have to stay at home to contain the spread of Covid-19.

“Therefore, we have asked energy business entrepreneurs and academics to propose solutions and recommendations to the government, so that measures can be implemented to help the economy recover after the Covid-19 crisis is resolved.”

He said that the economic cabinet is currently considering a recovery plan focusing on boosting the grass-roots economy.

“We have instructed ministers of related ministries to propose recovery packages to the Cabinet as soon as possible,” he said.

He added that the Energy Ministry will discuss an economic recovery package for energy next week, adding that they would focus on boosting the grass-roots economy.

“We will consider using the ministry’s budget and take loans under the emergency decree,” he said.

He said the Energy Regulatory Commission would announce next week the purchase of electricity not exceeding 100 megawatts.

“Meanwhile, we expect the community power plant project to be approved within June this year,” he said.

He added that the ministry would consider scrapping sales of some diesel and benzene fuels, which would help reduce storage cost and types of fuels.

“However, we will promote B10 and E20 biofuels to generate income for farmers,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sint Krongphanich, chief executive officer of PSP Specialities, said that oil sales in April this year had dropped by some 30 per cent due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

“We have advised the government to consider tax assistance to increase the liquidity of entrepreneurs,” he said.

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