Energy ministry turns down transport body’s plea for cheaper diesel


The Ministry of Energy has a rejected a request from the Land Transport Federation of Thailand to reduce diesel price to 25 baht per litre.

Kulit Sombatsiri, the ministry’s permanent secretary, said that efforts were being made to ensure the price of diesel fuel does not exceed 30 baht per litre. 
An amount of 3.79 baht per litre is already being drawn from the Oil Fund, totalling around 7 billion baht per month, to subsidise the costs, he said.

If they want the price to be reduced from the actual diesel price of around 34 baht per litre to 25 baht per litre, there would be a difference of around 9 baht per litre, which will push up the subsidy cost to approximately 17 billion baht per month, he explained.

The Ministry of Energy cannot find any source of funding to support such a steep subsidy because funds have to be allocated to help other groups that are equally affected, he said.

“So I seek for your cooperation and would like to freeze the price of diesel fuel at 30 baht per litre," said Kulit.

He said energy costs were going up as world crude oil price was about $90 a barrel at this time. If the price hits $100 a barrel, especially with an unresolved conflict between Ukraine and Russia, discussions will have to be held with the Ministry of Finance. But it is too early to talk about it now, he said.