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Gov’t Continues Market Meddling, Freezing Cooking Gas Prices Until April

Cooking Gas LPG Natural Canister Cylinder Kitchen Thailand

The government continues to ring up huge bills artificially capping and controlling prices in Thailand, with cooking gas joining the price-freeze list on Wednesday.

The Committee on Energy Policy Administration resolved to freeze the price of cooking gas at 318 baht a 15-kilogram cylinder until March 31, extended from the end of this month.

Kulit Sombatsiri, permanent secretary for energy, said CEPA told its secretariat to ask the Board of the Oil Fuel Fund to manage the fund in accordance with the latest policy on the cooking gas price.

CEPA has frozen the cooking gas price for nearly two years to help people affected by Covid-19. It has spent 23.6 billion baht on subsidizing the price.

The government’s meddling in free-market economics has cost the country trillions of baht to keep prices of diesel fuel, cooking gas, chicken, eggs, pork and other commodities at artificially low prices.

The Oil Fuel Fund is also subsidizing the price of diesel price at 30 baht a liter, causing the fund on Jan. 9 to post a loss of 7.3 billion baht.

Fund managers planned to borrow 20 billion baht to maintain its liquidity.

Earlier it asked CEPA to raise the cooking gas price by 1 baht a kilogram quarterly for three quarters for a total increase of three baht a kilogram to contribute to the Oil Fuel Fund. But CEPA resolved to continuously subsidize the gas price.