Bt80bn to be spent on 10 subsidies for low income earners during fuel crisis: Energy minister
The government will spend Bt80.24 billion to subsidise 10 measures to ease the burden of high living costs for three months amid the fuel-price crisis caused by the Russia-Ukraine war, said Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow on Thursday.
Supattanapong said 49 per cent of the budget (Bt39.52 billion) will come from the Oil Fuel Fund, while 44 per cent (Bt35.22 billion) will come from the Social Security Fund. For the rest, 5 per cent (Bt3.74 billion) will come from the central budget, while 2 per cent (Bt1.76 billion) will be contributed by state-owned oil firm PTT.
The measures will run from May to July and are as follows:
1. Bt100 cooking gas subsidy for 3.6 million state welfare card holders.
2. Bt100 cooking gas subsidy for 5,500 vendors with state welfare cards.
3. Bt250 per month subsidy on gasohol for 157,000 motorcycle taxi riders registered with the Department of Land Transport.
4. Retail price of natural gas for vehicles (NGV) to be capped at Bt15.59 per kilogram.
5. NGV to be sold at Bt13.62 per kilo to about 17,000 taxi drivers under the “NGV for Same Breath” scheme.
6. Bt0.22 per unit subsidy for about 20 million households that use less than 300 units of electricity from May to August.
7. Diesel capped at Bt30 per litre until the end of April after which the government will cover half the price increase.
8. Price of cooking gas to be regulated from April to June and subsidised through the Oil Fuel Fund.
9. Contributions to the Social Security Fund under Section 33 will be reduced from 5 per cent to 1 per cent, covering 11.2 million employees and 490,000 employers.
10. Contributions under Section 39 will be reduced to 1.9 per cent while contributions under Section 40 will be cut to Bt180 per month. There are about 1.9 million people under Section 39 and 10.7 million under Section 40.
“The government estimates that about 40 million people will benefit from these measures,” said Supattanapong. “The priority groups are low-income earners and public transport providers since they are likely to be most affected by the energy price crisis.”