Transport firms have begun to carry out their threat to block national highways with up to 20,000 vehicles.
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Truck drivers gathered yesterday in preparation for today's protest. Post Today photo.
Noon update: The government appears to be holding firm to the scheduled CNG price hikes, so protest leaders say they are deciding exactly how to expand their protest. Expect more blockages, and some passengers services will likely be suspended as well, so you might want to go home early today.
suspend – to stop for a period of time ยกเลิกชั่วคราว, ระงับชั่วคราว
Highway chaos fear forces a rethink over CNG price
The government will be asked to reconsider its plan to raise the price of compressed natural gas after transport firms threatened to block national highways with up to 20,000 vehicles.
Post Today reported early this morning that vehicles had begun blocking Vibhavadi Rangsit road outside the PTT headquarters near Chatuchak. Meanwhile taxis drivers were said to be gathering in the Royal Plaza near Government House.
Protest leaders said they were still considering what additional measures to take if the government doesn't respond favourably to their demands.
Energy Minister Pichai Naripthaphan yesterday promised to put the issue to the government today as pressure mounted over the plan to raise the price of CNG from 8.5 baht per kilogramme to 14.5 baht by December.
The price has been capped at 8.5 baht per kilogramme since 2009.
Representatives from the Land Transport Federation of Thailand (LTFT), which covers more than 20,000 buses, taxis, tuk tuks, vans and trucks, met Mr Pichai yesterday to make clear they would not tolerate the increase.
Mr Pichai said he would talk with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinnawatra and Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong to find a solution as he had no authority to make a decision.
The National Energy Policy Council approved the rise in October. It would be made gradually at 50 satang a month until December.
Last week , the LTFT gave the government an ultimatum to delay the plan or it would block main highways starting this morning
"We've yet to increase the price pending the results of the discussion with the prime minister," Mr Pichai said.
"What we want is a win-win solution for retailers and consumers."
PTT Plc, the sole CNG supplier, has claimed an accumulated loss from CNG of 31 billion baht as of December. The loss could hit 41 billion baht this year if the price does not rise.
Story includes updates from this morning.
hike –an increase การเพิ่มสูงขึ้น
spark – to make something happen ก่อให้เกิด
protest – a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something ชุมนุมประท้วง
gather – to come together in a group รวมกลุ่ม, รวมตัวกัน, จับกลุ่มกัน, ชุมนุ
chaos – a situation in which everything is confused and in a mess การจราจล
reconsider – to think again about a decision in order to decide whether you should change it พิจารณาอีกครั้ง
compressed – pressed or squeezed together or into a smaller space ซึ่งถูกอัด
threaten – to say that you might do something bad or harmful, especially in order to make someone do something ขู่เข็ญ คุกคาม ทำให้กลัว
block – to stop someone/ something from moving through or along something else ปิดกั้น, กีดขวาง
headquarters – the place where an organisation or company has its main offices สำนักงานใหญ่ กองบัญชาการ
measure – an action taken to solve a particular problem มาตรการ
favourably – in a positive way; showing that someone likes or approves of someone or something ชื่นชอบ, เห็นด้วย
demand – a very firm request for something ข้อเรียกร้อง, การเรียกร้อง
issue – a problem that needs to be considered ประเด็น
pressure – trying to make someone do something by forcing, threatening, or persuading them in a determined way ความกดดัน, แรงกระตุ้น, การบีบบังคับ
mount – to increase เพิ่มขึ้น
cap – to have an upper limit on an amount of money that can be spent or borrowed มีขีดสูงสุด
representative – someone who has been chosen or elected by a person or group to vote, give opinions, or make decisions for them ผู้แทน
federation – a large organisation made up of several smaller organisations or groups that share similar aims สหพันธ์, สมาคม
tolerate – to accept something unpleasant without becoming impatient or angry ทน ยอม
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
solution – a way of solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation วิธีแก้ปัญหา
authority – power อำนาจ
policy – a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group นโยบาย
approve – to give official permission อนุมัต
gradually – slowly and in small stages or amounts อย่างทีละน้อย
ultimatum – a statement that orders someone to do something and threatens to punish or attack them if they do not คำขาด
delay – to make something happen at a later time than originally expected หน่วง, ซื้อเวลา, ยืดเวลา
pending – waiting to be dealt with, settled or completed ยังค้างอยู่, ซึ่งยังไม่จบสิ้น, อยู่ในระหว่าง
retailer – a person or company that sells goods directly to the public for their own use ผู้ขายปลีก
consumer – someone who buys and uses goods and services ผู้บริโภค
sole – only เดี่ยวๆ
accumulate – to get more and more of something over a period of time สั่งสมมานาน