Subsidy for household electricity bills can go ahead, says EC
The Election Commission (EC) has approved the caretaker Cabinet’s proposal to spend 10.46 billion baht on subsidising household electricity, election commissioner Thitichet Nutchanat said on Monday.
Under the measure, those who use up to 150 units of electricity will see a reduction of 92.04 satang per unit, while those who use 151 to 300 units will get a 67.04 satang per unit reduction (100 satang equals 1 baht).
Thitichet said the EC has deliberated the proposal, which includes details submitted by the Energy Ministry and the Fiscal Policy Office and weighed it against the urgency of the issue. It also considered the principles of the State Fiscal and Financial Disciplines Act, before approving the subsidy.
The Cabinet Secretariat had first written to the EC on April 25 asking for it to give the caretaker government an okay on spending 11.112 billion baht from the central budget to subsidise household power bills. However, the EC rejected the proposal, saying it did not specify the motion that was approved via Cabinet resolution.
On May 2, the Cabinet resolved again to ask the EC for approval of the subsidy, but this time it lowered the spending to 10.46 billion baht.
The caretaker Cabinet is required to seek EC approval for every extra expenditure to prevent indirect vote-buying charges.