Bangkok braces for gridlock as truckers announce fuel protest

Illustrative photo - The Nation/ANN

BANGKOK: The trucking industry announced on Friday (June 21) it would rally in Bangkok starting July 3 to protest the government's inaction on rising diesel prices, which have now reached 32.94 baht per litre.

The move comes after the Land Transport Federation of Thailand petitioned the government on June 11, demanding permission to increase transport fees by 3-9% for every one-baht rise in diesel prices above 30 baht per litre, starting Friday.

In May, the Cabinet capped the retail price of diesel at 33 baht per litre.

Land Transport Federation president Apichart Pairoonrueng said the Friday deadline had arrived without a response from the government, which left truckers with no other option but to launch a protest.

He said federation members, which include 12 trucking associations nationwide, plan to rally in Bangkok from July 3. The location and duration of the protest are yet to be confirmed.

Apichart added that the federation had submitted an ultimatum to Government House on June 11, warning of strikes or protests if was not allowed to adjust transport prices to reflect diesel costs.

This is not the first time that truck drivers have staged protests in Bangkok.

In October 2021, hundreds of trucks surrounded the Energy Ministry and threatened to halt 10% of their services unless the diesel price was capped.

In February of the following year, truckers blocked several Bangkok roads, demanding the government caps diesel at 25 baht per litre for a year.

The demand was rejected by then prime minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, who argued that the government had no budget for the cap, which would cost 20 billion baht per month. - The Nation/ANN

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