LPG price float won’t affect people: Energy Ministry

The floating of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) price, which is set to begin tomorrow (Aug 1), will not affect people in general, according to Tawarat Sutabutra, director of the Energy Ministry’s Energy Policy and Planning Office.

Mr Tawarat said he believes after the float people will not be affected because the LPG will be brought into the country by several importers and this will lead to price competition.

The LPG retail price is currently 20.49 baht per kilogramme.

If the retail price goes up in line with the world market, a budget of 6,000 million baht from the State Oil Fund will be used for subsidies, he said.

As for the low-income people, the government will continue to take measures to enable to buy LPG for 18.13 baht per kilogramme. In doing so, the list of low-income people of the Energy Ministry will be transferred to be added into the list being prepared by the Finance Ministry, pending an official use of the welfare cards for low-income earners.

In a related development, the National Energy Policy Committee hold a meeting today to consider a proposal to fully deregulate the LPG market.

After the full deregulation of the LPG market, other LPG traders will be allowed to rent the LPG storage system of the PTT Plc at Khao Bo Ya in Chon Buri.

Withoon Kulcharoenwirat, director-general of the Energy Business Department, said the PTT has submitted the criteria and conditions for renting the storage to the department for consideration. It is believed the criteria and conditions will be announced on Aug 1, he said.

Nanthawan Sakuntanak, director-general of the Internal Trade Department, said the department has set the price of a 15-kg gas tank at 343 baht, which includes the transport cost.

She believes the LPG price in the world market will remain low in August.

If the price of cooking gas goes up by 1.8 baht per tank, the prices of cooked food will not be affected.