Pirapan says Energy Ministry working on new oil price structure

SUNDAY, APRIL 21, 2024

The Energy Ministry is working to restructure the oil price system so that local retail prices could be set by the government without referring to global prices, Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Pirapan Salirathavibhaga said on Sunday.

He said it would take time to change the oil price structure that has been in use for 51 years.

Pirapan, who is leader of the government’s coalition partner United Thai Nation Party, said there now are two major issues affecting energy prices – the structural issue and a system that no one has tried to improve to really benefit the people.

Pirapan said retail diesel prices are rising because of the rising excise tax, which is decided by the Oil Fuel Fund committee, not by the Energy Ministry.

Pirapan says Energy Ministry working on new oil price structure

He said he now is drafting a new law to change the price structural system so that the Energy Ministry or the government would be the one to determine retail prices instead of having the prices influenced by global prices.

Currently, oil distributors set their retail prices based on Singapore’s reference prices and their costs.

“In the final step, the government will have the power to set the retail prices,” Pirapan said.

“But we have to gradually adjust the system that has been in use for 51 years without changes.

“At least I have started changing it. And this was the first time in 51 years that oil distributors must inform the National Energy Policy Committee of their costs.”