Thailand's major fishing operators are driving a tough bargain for fuel price cutback. They recently rejected the government's offer to let them buy subsidised "purple fuel", which went on sale on April 10, 2005. Meant for small fisherfolk, this fuel is being sold at about two baht (us $0.05) less than the pump price at 44 stations in 15 provinces. Another 30-35 million litres will later be available every month.
Large operators could till now buy a "green fuel" at one baht less (us $ 0.02) than the pump price. But they wanted a five-baht (us$0.12) subsidy and urged fishing boats to halt operations till the demand was met. But the government declined. Prasant Silpipat, president, National Fisheries Association of Thailand, says fisherfolk lost out even before the general diesel price hike.
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