Diesel subsidies to be extended
The government will likely extend its diesel price subsidy programme that is due to end on May 20, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Tuesday.
He said the cabinet's decision to lower the excise tax charged per litre on diesel by 3 baht has cost the government 5.7 billion baht in lost revenue each month since it was implemented three months ago, or about 17 billion baht in total.
As high diesel prices are impacting many other products including cooking oil, animal feed and fertilisers, the cabinet will keep the excise tax cut in place to help mitigate the impact of soaring inflation, Gen Prayut added.
More details will be decided by the energy and finance ministries before the cabinet approves the extended and revised measure prior to its current cut-off date next week, the prime minister said.
In order to keep curbing the retail price of diesel, the Energy Ministry has already supplied the Finance Ministry with the necessary data for the latter to calculate how long the excise tax cut needs to continue, said Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow.
The Finance Ministry will forward a proposal regarding the subsidy programme to the cabinet for consideration on May 17, he said.
Gen Prayut ordered the measure to be renewed and the Finance Ministry was working on fine-tuning the details, Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith noted.
The cabinet also set aside 1.72 billion baht for a new household electricity price subsidy programme due to run from this month until August, said government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.