Hike in price of cooking gas hits pockets

Hike in price of cooking gas hits pockets

The price of cooking gas increases by one baht a kilogramme on Friday, raising the cost of a 15kg cylinder refill from 318 baht to 333 baht. The LPG price will rise one baht per kilogramme per month for three months, until June. (Bangkok Post file photo)
The price of cooking gas increases by one baht a kilogramme on Friday, raising the cost of a 15kg cylinder refill from 318 baht to 333 baht. The LPG price will rise one baht per kilogramme per month for three months, until June. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The cost of cooking gas rose by one baht a kilogramme on Friday, and people called on the government to better control consumer prices as incomes remained stagnant or dropped.

Rujipas Saengcharoenthana owns a cooking gas shop in Charansanitwong.

He told reporters the price of a 15kg cylinder of liquified propane gas (LPG) increased by one baht per kilogramme, from 318 baht to 333 baht, on Friday.

Under government policy it would continue to rise by one baht a month until June. Over three months the price of cooking gas would jump by 45 baht per cylinder, he said.

Each time the price went up, his sales fell, Mr Rujipas said.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic arrived his customers had been forced to tighten their belts and cut their expenses, even down to the purchase of cooking gas, he said.

His customers complained about the latest price increase, he said. In May, the price will rise to 348 baht per 15kg cylinder, and to 363 baht in June, he said.

A food vendor who declined to give her name said she just felt so discouraged by the price increase. 

Her shop had three stoves with three cylinders. Each cylinder of gas lasted less than a week before needing a refill. Prices of vegetables, meat, cooking oil and other ingredients had also increased. The rise in the cost of gas added to the wound, she complained.

She did not increase the price of her food because she felt compassion for her customers. Their incomes had also dropped. She appealed to the government to be serious about tackling economic problems and easing the people's plight.

The Energy Policy Administration Committee earlier approved the Energy Ministry's proposal to reduce the drain on the Oil Fuel Fund, which had helped keep costs down by capping the price of LPG at 318 baht per 15kg cylinder since March 24, 2020.

The Oil Fuel Fund, which is funded by the Ft levy, had spent 22.61 billion baht subsidising LPG gas, leaving its LPG account 28.09 billion baht in the red.

If the LPG gas price had not been subsidised, it would have risen to 463 baht per 15kg cylinder, the committee said.

The committee resolved to gradually increase LPG prices, in three stages, by one baht per month per kilogramme, starting from April 1. The retail price has now been set at 333 baht per 15kg cylinder until May.


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