Jurin urged to fix fuel costs

Jurin urged to fix fuel costs

Former finance minister Korn Chatikavanij has called on Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit to exercise his power to control fuel prices, including liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or cooking gas.

Mr Korn, who is also Kla Party leader, yesterday proposed to the Commerce Ministry a possible solution to the issue of soaring fuel prices.

To solve the problem, he suggested the commerce minister invoke Sections 24 and 25 of the Act on Prices of Goods and Services.

Mr Korn said the Commerce Ministry's central committee on prices of goods and services is headed by the commerce minister who can exercise his right to control the profits of controlled goods of which fuel, including LPG, are listed.

Mr Korn outlined the rising cost of fuel faced by the country. He said the refining margin has increased by almost 10 times per litre, standing at 8.5 baht last Friday, compared with 0.87 baht on June 10 last year and 0.88 baht on June 10 in 2020.

Prices could be reduced up to 4 baht/litre and still benefit oil refineries, Mr Korn said.

The surge in prices, he said, is due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Mr Korn earlier said a higher margin serves as a financial burden on consumers and the Oil Fuel Fund, which is now in the red.

Last week his party pushed a set of proposals to help those affected by spiking fuel prices, including modifying the kingdom's refining margin ceiling.

Meanwhile, the Thai Bus Business Association has announced its members will reduce bus services by 80% due to fuel price increases starting by next Friday, association president Pichet Jiamburaset said.

Mr Pichet revealed this after having a meeting yesterday with public transport operators nationwide.

Most operators agreed they could not operate bus services as usual due to the hike in fuel prices that increased to 1,600 baht per trip from 1,400 baht in the space of a week.

Mr Pichet said the decrease in bus services will affect commuters but service operators can no longer shoulder the costs. The current ticket fare rate has remained at the same price since 2019.

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