Govt spokesman concerned about traffic jams if trucks block roads
Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana voiced his concern to the Land Transportation Association of Thailand on Wednesday after it warned that trucks would block roads if the government did not give in to their demand to cap the diesel price at THB30 per litre.
Thanakorn is worried the move by truckers would lead to traffic jams in the capital and affect free movement.
He said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had already confirmed that the government would help every sector equally.
Thanakorn said a mobile cabinet meeting on Tuesday approved a THB20-billion loan to the Oil Fund. The fund will cap the price of diesel at THB30 per litre.
Association president Apichart Pairoonrueng had organised a “Truck Power Season 2” protest on Tuesday.
More than a hundred trucks drove down Sukhumvit, Bang Na-Trad and Kanchanaphisek roads, as well as the Asian Highway to the Energy Ministry.
Truckers protesting the high diesel price wanted to hand a letter to Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong, but it was received by deputy permanent secretary Somboon Norkaew instead.
Apichart asked the government to cap the diesel price at THB25 per litre, decrease the diesel excise tax by THB5 per litre and stop collecting money for the Oil Fund for a year.
He gave the government 15 days to decide.
If the government does not respond before the deadline, the association warned it would fill just 20 litres of diesel in each truck and the vehicles would be driven into Bangkok and come to an abrupt halt on the streets when the small amount of gas runs out.