An academic has criticized the government’s decision to keep subsidizing diesel prices below 30 baht a liter in order to gain political benefits in the upcoming general election.

Dr Praipol Koomsup, a lecturer at the Faculty of Economics, Thammasat University, deemed the policy a political tool of the government because the new election was approaching. He said the policy would only give short-term benefits.

The academic suggested that the government should gradually increase oil prices rather than pegging them because the global oil price was still on the rise with a very low chance of falling down following the intensifying unrest in the Middle East.

Dr Praipol added that the government and its fuel oil fund would have to shoulder a heavy burden until the end of the fiscal year. He also noted that the next government would also experience problems if the diesel price was pegged until September.

News from NNT