Transport fees will rise if govt removes diesel price cap, association warns
The Land Transport Association of Thailand is considering hiking transport fees to cover increasing costs after the Cabinet decided to remove the 30 baht per litre cap on the price of diesel from May 1.
“Without this, we believe the price of diesel will gradually increase to match the global price of crude oil, and could eventually reach 40 baht per litre,” association president Apichart Pairoonrueng said on Wednesday.
“The association will hold a meeting soon to discuss appropriate transport fees and a suitable time frame to implement the increase,” Apichart said.
Transport companies, he said, have been holding off on raising fees since January to avoid adding burden to product manufacturers, who are likely to raise product prices if the transport cost increases.
“We have tried every possible way to convince the government to lower the diesel price, including holding a rally and strike as permitted by the law,” said Apichart.
“If the government goes ahead and stops fixing the price, truckers may have to rally again to let people know about our situation,” he warned.
Apichart said the association had proposed two measures to bring down the diesel price, namely removing all biodiesel formula and collecting diesel excise tax at the same rate as aircraft fuel tax.
“These measures could help make diesel cheaper by 4-5 baht per litre, but the Energy Ministry has never accepted these measures as they are only focusing on helping growers of oil palm, which are not the majority,” he pointed out.
“In the past, the government has twice offered a subsidy to truck operators of 3,000 baht per vehicle for three months, but we did not accept this,” he said.
“Seeing that the association has more than 400,000 members, the government would have spent billions of taxpayers’ money on truckers. We don’t want that to happen. Instead, we want to see measures that benefit the majority of people, namely bringing down fuel prices,” he added.