PPRP vows to bring down LPG prices
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PPRP vows to bring down LPG prices

Subsidies for gas to cost B24bn per year

Mingkwan: Pledges B250 cap on gas
Mingkwan: Pledges B250 cap on gas

The Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) has pledged to lower the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to 250 baht per tank if it can form a government after the next election.

Mingkwan Sangsuwan, adviser to a PPRP working committee on policies, said between April and September last year, the nation's Oil Fuel Fund was in the red by 124 billion baht, which forced the government to adjust LPG prices by 15 baht per tank.

As LPG is widely used as household cooking fuel, the hike led to an increase in consumer goods prices, he said.

Mr Mingkwan said the Oil Fuel Fund Office had asked for a 150-billion-baht loan to financially prop up the fund back in August last year, but LPG prices kept climbing, reaching 423 baht per tank on March 1 -- culminating in a price cap by the government, which will remain in place until the end of June.

"If the problem remains unaddressed, the price of LPG may reach 513 baht per tank, which undoubtedly will result in a spike in the price of other goods," he said.

If the PPRP manages to form a government following the next election, the party will move to reduce LPG prices to 250 baht per tank, which would cost the state about 24 billion baht per year -- as Thais use about 2.08 million kilogrammes of LPG each year, he said.

Citing figures released by the Mineral Fuels Department on March 8, the price of natural gas will drop to 172 baht per million British thermal unit if the government moves away from the concession system to production-sharing across the Gulf of Thailand.

"Gen Prawit [Wongsuwon] will definitely approve the guideline if he is chosen as prime minister as he wants to improve the people's quality of life. The proposal will be submitted to the steering policy committee."

He is also confident the PPRP leader will use his power over the central budget to solve the issue.

"If Gen Prawit is chosen as prime minister, he will submit a solution to the gas price problem to the cabinet," he said.

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