Consumer group seeks emergency court protection against gas price hike

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The Foundation for Consumers on Friday filed a petition with the Central Administrative Court against the government, seeking a court order to revoke the Cabinet resolution on NGV and LPG price increase.

The petition was drawn up against the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, the Minister of Energy, the Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO) and PTT Plc who were all involved in the Cabinet and EPPO resolutions on the fuel price hike set to be in effect from 16 January onwards. The Foundation for Consumers alleges that the resolutions are unlawful.

The foundation also requests the court to order a disclosure of the real costs of production of NGV and LPG following the government’s claim that the capital costs have been increasing. The group remarks that the higher costs are actually the result of mismanagement. It calls for a public hearing to echo opinions of affected consumers, to be used by the government in making further decision.

EPPO Director Suthep Liamsiricharoen has said the price increase is in line with the government policy to make the gas prices reflect the real costs and tackle problems caused by energy subsidization. Without a gradual price hike, Thailand will have to import more gas this year by 20% compared to the previous year, Mr Suthep says. Larger gas imports will raise the country’s import value and force the Oil Fund to pay more subsidies.


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