Srettha rejects power price hike proposal, pushes for THB4.10 a unit
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said on Thursday that the government would attempt to rein in the price of electricity at not higher than 4.10 baht per unit to avoid negative impacts on ordinary consumers.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) had resolved last month to raise the electricity price to 4.68 baht per unit, from 3.99 at present, for the period January to April next year to “better reflect the production cost” following recent increases in fuel prices.
The prime minister said the ERC's proposed price hike was “unacceptable” and that the matter should be reconsidered.
Srettha on Thursday reiterated that the proposed price hike was too high and that the matter must be reconsidered.
“As of now, 4.20 baht per unit is possible. But we will try to push it down to 4.10 baht. We are trying and we should be able to do it,” he said.
However, he admitted that it would be “difficult” to retain the current price of 3.99 baht per unit for the January-April period.
The prime minister was speaking on “The Future of the Thai Economy”, a seminar held at the National Institute of Development Administration (Nida).
Meanwhile, Energy Minister Pirapan Salirathavibhaga said in his Facebook post on Thursday that the power price would not be as high as that proposed by the ERC.
“It’s unacceptable for me that electricity prices jump that high. Although it was an ERC resolution, things must be done to bring the price down,” said Pirapan, who is the leader of the ruling coalition’s United Thai Nation Party.
The energy minister said he had instructed relevant agencies to work together and find ways to help spare Thai consumers the burden of high electricity prices.
In a related development, deputy government spokesperson Rudklao Inthawong Suwankiri allayed public concerns over high power prices.
“There is no reason to worry. It was just a proposal from the ERC and the energy minister has yet to consider it. Please rest assured that the government will come up with a fair and suitable price. We are trying to keep the price as low as possible,” she said.