Farmers in line for subsidised fuel
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Farmers in line for subsidised fuel

Cheap oil to be sold to agriculture sector

Farmers cultivate crops in the fields. Mr Pirapan says the green fuel programme is likely to be considered by parliament next year.
Farmers cultivate crops in the fields. Mr Pirapan says the green fuel programme is likely to be considered by parliament next year.

Energy authorities are planning to apply a "green fuel" or non-tax fuel programme for farmers, allowing them to buy oil at inexpensive prices, says Energy Minister Pirapan Salirathavibhaga.

The move is similar to a green fuel scheme for fishermen that was launched to deal with illegal oil purchases. Fishermen could buy diesel at cheaper prices, but they were expected to help authorities prevent illegal oil sales.

Mr Pirapan said authorities are studying how to apply the green fuel programme for farmers.

He said a working team is drafting a new law to support the launch of the scheme in the agricultural sector.

"We are initiating this green fuel programme to help farmers cope with production and transport costs," said Mr Pirapan.

The new law is expected to be finalised by the end of this year, then forwarded to parliament for consideration in 2024, he said.

Mr Pirapan said the ministry is also devising measures to reduce the retail price of gasohol 91 by 2.5 baht a litre, down from the current price of 37.58 baht a litre.

He did not elaborate on the method of the price cut for gasohol 91, a mix of gasoline and ethanol, with 91 referring to the octane rating.

The Energy Ministry is also pushing for talks on the overlapping claims area, widely known as OCA, between Thailand and Cambodia to jointly develop a new petroleum site in the upper part of the Gulf of Thailand, said Mr Pirapan.

Talks on the OCA issue were initiated in 2001, but no agreements have been reached.

The OCA could be a new petroleum source for both countries because the site is located near the Bongkot and Erawan gas blocks, according to the Department of Mineral Fuels.

He said the new talks should focus on joint natural resource management, and must be separate from border dispute issues.

The development of a petroleum business in the OCA would likely be time consuming as it requires approval from the parliaments of both nations.

The OCA, green fuel and reduction in gasohol prices were the focus of current ministry policies.

Last month, the Srettha Thavisin cabinet agreed to cut the power tariff to 3.99 baht per kilowatt-hour to reduce electricity bills and approved a diesel excise tax cut to keep domestic diesel prices less than 30 baht a litre for motorists.

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