The Oil Fuel Fund ready to borrow billions


An attendant fills a customer’s tank at a gas station in Bangchak.

The Oil Fuel Fund is expected to complete negotiations with banks this month as it seeks to borrow heavily to boost its liquidity, Finance Ministry Deputy Permanent Secretary Theeraj Athanavanich said.

Mr Theeraj said the fund was in talks with several commercial banks, including Government Savings Bank and Krungthai Bank, regarding the loan. Negotiations are expected to be concluded this month.

The fund is in the red due to rising global oil prices. It must seek capital to boost its liquidity in case the price of oil rises further and to meet the expiry of the government’s diesel excise tax reduction on May 20.

In February, the cabinet agreed to cut the excise tax on diesel by 3 baht per liter for three months to help mitigate the impact of high energy prices.

The fund will seek to borrow 30 billion baht. The Public Debt Management Office has already added this borrowing as part of its public debt management plan for the 2022 financial year.

The fund was in the red at 66.6 billion baht as of May 8, of which 33.2 billion baht is a loss on the fuel account and 33.4 billion baht on the liquefied petroleum gas account.

The government has introduced 10 measures to help targeted groups ease the burden of living costs, with a budget of 45.1 billion baht. The measures include a cap on the price of natural gas for vehicles at 15.5 baht per kilogram for three months, starting in April.

A total of 157,000 qualified motorcycle taxi drivers will benefit from a gasoline discount of 250 baht per month from May to July.

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