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Thailand to cap diesel prices, sees 2021 GDP growth

Thailand to cap diesel prices, sees 2021 GDP growth

FILE PHOTO: Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) officials remove a diesel electric generator at Nong Jok power plant in Bangkok, April 27, 2011, before preparing it to be shipped to Japan. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom

BANGKOK : Thailand will cap retail diesel prices at 30 baht (US$0.89) per litre until the end of the month to help reduce living costs for consumers amid higher global oil prices and a prolonged coronavirus outbreak, its deputy prime minister said on Monday.

The short-term support could be extended if necessary, Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow, who is also energy minister, told a news conference.

"If global oil prices keep increasing, we still have room to manoeuvre," he said, adding prices of some diesel types would be lowered from Tuesday and some from Oct. 11.

The subsidy will be financed by an oil fund worth 11 billion baht (US$326 million) and a loan if needed, Supattanapong said.

Currently, the government has also frozen liquefied petroleum gas prices (LPG) until the end of January.

Government subsidies have helped keep headline inflation low, at minus 0.02per cent in August.

The government has also introduced a series of measures to support consumers and businesses affected by the pandemic.

After a hit from the outbreak and tougher containment measures imposed in July and August, the economy is improving with higher exports and consumption, Supattanapong said.

"Q4 should be a lot better and full-year growth is likely to be positive," he said.

Last week, the central bank maintained its 2021 economic growth forecast at 0.7per cent, while the finance minister expects 1.3per cent growth.

(US$1 = 33.74 baht)

(Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon and Satawasin Staporncharnchai; Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Martin Petty)

Source: Reuters


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