Climbing Energy Prices Make Companies Plead for Assistance

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The Prime Minister of Thailand, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, is being urged by the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry, and Banking (JSCCIB) to adopt measures to lessen the financial burden on businesses caused by the imminent rise in electricity bills.

Last week the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) announced that it will raise the commercial power tariff by 20.5%, from 4.69 baht per kilowatt-hour (unit) to 5.69 baht per unit. The FTI voiced concerns over the decision, causing the JSCCIB to submit a petition to the prime minister.

According to the ERC, the new power tariff is meant to assist the state-owned Energy Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) in resolving its balance sheet after EGAT lost 125 billion baht assisting the government with the electricity price cap.

Concerned company owners have asked the government to form a group with representatives from both the public and private sectors. According to the agency, Thailand’s competitiveness may suffer as a result of higher energy costs, which might reduce FDI from international firms.

The FTI warned last week that if the government increased the commercial power rate, its members would have to boost product prices by 5 to 12 percent.

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