Trucks stop to protest fuel prices

Trucks stop to protest fuel prices

About 20% of trucks under the Land Transportation Federation of Thailand (LTFT) will stop running in several provinces today to protest against the high diesel price.

Apichart Phrairungruang, president of the federation, said about 70,000-80,000 out 400,000 trucks operated by its members will cease operations for seven days to step up pressure on the government to act.

These trucks are an essential means of transport for consumer goods, imports and exports, and construction materials, he said.

Mr Apichart said if the federation's demand for diesel to be pegged at 25 baht per litre is not met, members could extend the protest to two weeks or even a month.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the price of diesel, the essential component of goods and transport costs, to be pegged at 30 baht per litre, but that remains well above their demand.

Mr Apichart said haulage operators are planning a "Truck Power" campaign later this month with some 1,000 trucks, buses and private cars set to join the event.

It remains to be seen how they will organise the protest, he said, adding that the trucks may converge on a certain venue or run in a caravan through the capital.

A petition will be lodged with the House committee on energy, with the group hoping to bring the high diesel cots to the MPs' attention and a proposal submitted to Gen Prayut, or a meeting sought with him, he said.

Tanasant Kulpetranont, deputy secretary-general of Northeastern Transport Association, said members will today make good on their threat to protest against the high prices.

He said that if the government remains adamant on pegging the price at 30 baht per litre, operators will be forced to pass on their increased costs by raising haulage fees.

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