Thailand's cabinet on Tuesday agreed to extend an excise tax cut on diesel for another two months to Sept. 20, to alleviate the impact of high energy prices, the finance minister said.
The excise tax cut on diesel by 5 baht ($0.138) per litre is only a short-term measure during the period of high global oil prices, Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said in a statement.
If global oil prices start to fall, the government will continue to use the country's oil fund to help stabilise retail diesel prices to minimise the impact on peoples' living costs and the country's economic recovery, he said.
Rising energy prices pushed up inflation to 7.66% in June, the highest in almost 14 years.
The diesel tax reduction is expected to cost the government about 20 billion baht ($551.88 million) in lost revenue, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana told a news conference.
The cabinet also offered companies tax deductions on expenses on seminars or exhibitions organised until the end of the year to boost domestic tourism and activity, he added.
($1 = 36.24 baht) (Reporting by Orathai Sriring, Satawasin Staporncharnchai and Panarat Thepgumpanat Editing by Ed Davies)