Inter-provincial bus firms 'forced' to axe routes

Inter-provincial bus firms 'forced' to axe routes

Operators of inter-provincial buses will reduce or halt services along certain routes due to the increase in the price of diesel fuel, said Pichet Jiamburaset, president of the Thai Bus Business Association.

He said the private operators cannot cope with rising costs linked to the rising fuel price, which has risen from 27 baht per litre in 2017, to 34 baht.

If the services were to continue, they would shoulder about 1,400 baht for fuel among other rising costs, he said.

Mr Pichet said their call for government assistance has not yet been answered, so the operators have decided to cut or stop services along certain routes.

The measure is their only option, under circumstances that may force some to completely shut down operations, he said.

Meanwhile, Kla Party leader Korn Chatikavanij has come up with a three-point proposal to help people affected by soaring fuel prices, including modifying the kingdom's refining margin ceiling.

Drivers pay the refinery margin when they fill up at petrol stations and it is considered a cost added to the price of refined crude oil, he said.

Mr Korn said the refining margin has increased almost 10 times per litre, standing at 8.5 baht on Friday, compared with 0.87 baht on June 10 last year and 0.88 baht on June 10 in 2020.

The former finance minister said a higher margin serves as a financial burden on consumers and the Oil Fuel Fund, which subsidises oil prices and is 86 billion baht in the red.

He said the government should consider fairer pricing structures for firms under the state-owned PTT Plc.

The other two points are the introduction of a windfall tax law and an energy-saving campaign after the first four months of the year registered a 15% increase in fuel consumption.

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