New energy minister plans to lower energy prices
Peeraphan Salirathaviphak, the new Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister, is exploring ways to reduce energy prices in line with Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s announcement that lowering the cost of energy is a major policy of the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party.
This reduction in energy prices would help lower the cost of living for the public. Energy is also a major cost of production for most consumer goods so a more reasonable and fair energy price would equally benefit consumers.
This policy is one of the government's main policies and will be presented to the House of Representatives later this week.
Several factors need to be considered in implementing this policy, among them the prices of oil and electricity, which involve various components, such as taxes, market prices, financial burdens, loans, and more. Some components cannot be controlled, such as the cost of natural gas for electricity production, or the cost of crude oil. However, what can be managed is the structure and components making up energy prices. By identifying which parts can be reduced, the overall energy prices can be lowered accordingly.
Additionally, there is a focus on providing special oil prices for certain groups of people, such as fishermen, who can purchase a type of green oil at a reduced price. It is suggested that a similar approach be extended to other groups, such as farmers.
Another important aspect of this policy is to allow freedom in sourcing refined oil that does not involve costly refining processes. Any private sector body able to source affordable energy should receive full government support to ensure procurement is convenient, fast and avoids unnecessary regulations that hinder accessibility.
Peeraphan also emphasised the role of the ministry, noting that it is not up to government to run an oil business, but to create energy security and provide energy to the people at a fair and reasonable cost.
The ministry must also oversee and ensure fair competition in the private sector and the public’s access to energy, oil, and fuel. If costs can be reduced in this area, the cost of living will decrease accordingly, Peeraphan added.