thailand extends measures to tackle high oil prices help tourism - Thailand extends measures to tackle high oil prices, help tourism

BANGKOK (REUTERS) – Thailand’s cabinet on Tuesday (June 21) extended measures to support energy prices and tourism, and approved plans to seek a contribution from refineries to boost the country’s depleted oil fund.

The measures came as Thai headline inflation hit a near 14-year high of 7.1 per cent in May, driven by rising oil prices.

Existing relief measures will be extended for three months to September, including a monthly subsidy of 100 baht (S$3.92) for cooking gas for low-income earners, and freezing vehicle gas prices for taxi drivers, government spokesperson Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana told a news conference.

The government will also seek for refineries and gas separation plants to contribute some profits to the state oil fund for three months, he said.

Last week, the government said monthly contributions from refineries were expected to bring in 6 billion to 7 billion baht.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told reporters that given fiscal discipline, “we need to spend sparingly”.

Thanakorn said the cabinet also approved extending until October an existing scheme for Thais to travel domestically, including a 40 per cent subsidy on 1.5 million room nights, to boost recovery in the tourism sector.

Companies will also be offered tax deductions on expenses related to seminars and exhibitions between July and December, Thanakorn added.