Ministry rejects truck operators’ proposal to reduce fuel tax
Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said on Wednesday that the ministry will not reduce excise tax for oil fuel as proposed by the Land Transportation Association of Thailand.
On Tuesday the association announced that 20 per cent of its truck drivers would stop working and would bring their vehicles to a rally in front of Energy Ministry’s headquarters in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district, while urging the government to reduce fuel tax by 5 baht per litre, in order to cut the diesel price to 25 baht per litre.
Currently the government fixes the retail price of diesel fuel at 30 baht per litre.
“Fuel tax is one of the government’s major revenues and cannot be reduced,” said Arkhom. “The government will continue using the money from Oil Fuel Fund, which has around 7 billion baht left, to keep the diesel’s retail price at 30 baht per litre until year end.”
“The Cabinet has also approved the Oil Fuel Fund to borrow additional money at up to 30 billion baht to maintain its solvency, while previously the fund was allowed to borrow not exceeding 20 billion baht,” he added.
Arkhom further added that he expected that global fuel prices will gradually come down after the winter season during end of 2021 and early 2022. “Furthermore, many countries have started shifting from oils to other types of energy, which will gradually reduce the demand for oils in the future,” he added.
Finance Ministry had earlier revealed that if the fuel tax were reduced by 5 baht per litre, the government will lose the revenue of up to 150 billion per year, and that the ministry could not find revenue from other sources to compensate this loss.