By Watcharapong Thongrung
Energy Minister Pichai Naripthaphan yesterday insisted that the diesel price has to be floated, even though a planned hike in the contribution to the Oil Fund of 60 satang per litre would push up the diesel price to over Bt30 a litre from the current Bt29
The diesel price should be set by the market mechanism, he said.
The global oil price has risen over the past 10 years. Continuing to peg the diesel price would further burden the state coffers, he added.
Suthep Liumsirijarern, director-general of the Energy Policy and Planning Office, said the Energy Policy Administration Committee meeting resolved to collect contributions of 60 satang per litre for diesel sales and Bt1 per litre for petrol sales, effective on Monday, in line with the policy of the National Energy Policy Council.
The committee agreed to hike the NGV price by 50 satang per kilogram and also expand the discount of Bt2 per kilogram for NGV to cover public buses, commuter vans and tuk tuks, besides taxis. These measures are also effective on Monday.
A ministry source said the Oil Fund had suffered a drain of Bt14.45 billion as of last Friday. The increase in diesel and petrol contributions will bring in an extra Bt53 million per day to the fund.