Price cuts for petrol, sugar

Price cuts for petrol, sugar

Sugary desserts on sale at a shop in Bangkok. The cabinet resolved on Tuesday to impose controls and keep down the retail cost of sugar. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
Sugary desserts on sale at a shop in Bangkok. The cabinet resolved on Tuesday to impose controls and keep down the retail cost of sugar. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

The cabinet on Tuesday resolved to cut retail petrol and sugar prices, to help keep down the cost of living.

Energy Minister Pirapan Salirathavibhaga said measures to reduce petrol prices would apply for three months from Nov 7.

Excise tax would be reduced by one baht a litre for the petrol content in all types of gasohol (petrol combined with ethanol).

The decrease will be 0.15-0.90 baht per litre for petrol/ethanol mixes other than gasohol 91, which will receive an additional 1.50 baht subsidy from the state Oil Fund.

The reduction in the gasohol 91 price would thus be bigger than for other trypes of gasohol, at 2.50 baht per litre, Mr Pirapan said.

Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai said the cabinet resolved to restore the government's control over the retail price of sugar after the price was suddenly hiked by four baht per kilogramme, about 20 per cent.

The Cane and Sugar Board decided last week to increase the price from Saturday. The board cited higher production costs for manufacturers as cane prices rose due to water shortages in growing areas.

The increase had a direct impact on consumers and related industries, Mr Phumtham said.

Officials would work on ways to cap sugar prices at reasonable levels and simultaneously give a subsidy to sugarcane growers, he said.

The government would also try to prevent sugar from being smuggled out of the country for sale at higher profit, otherwise there could be shortages.

Thailand needed a combined stock of about 2 million tonnes of granulated sugar for local consumption, Mr Phumtham said.

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