Responding to rising oil prices in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday announced measures to cut petrol taxes by around $30 million per year.
Noting that the government’s $82.8 million in oil subsidies over the last five months wasn’t enough to slow rising prices, the prime minister said, “the measures [subsidies] are not enough yet, so we need to take new measures”.
He said the two measures are that the government will change the tax base calculation to match the international market, and lower special tax rates for regular gasoline, diesel and kerosene.
The special tax on gasoline will be reduced from 35 percent to 15 percent, while diesel will be cut from 15 percent to 5.5 percent and kerosene from 15 percent to 5 percent.
Cambodia currently purchases petroleum from Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand, as its own offshore oil and gas reserves have not yet been tapped.
The price of retail gasoline in Cambodia is currently 4,150 riel ($1.02) per litre, down from 4,200 riel in the previous 10 days, according to an announcement from the Ministry of Commerce.
The Ministry of Commerce recalculates the retail fuel price cap every 10 days. The price is set to be revised again on July 1, the same date the prime minister said the new measures will be implemented.
San Chey, who heads the NGO Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, expressed support for the government’s actions.
However, he said: “Although the move could be for the sake of popularity before the national elections, overall the measure is extremely important in helping to curb rising oil prices in Cambodia.”
Singapore-based KrisEnergy plans to produce oil from Cambodia’s offshore Block A oil deposit next year and invest more than $30 million in the project this year, according to its 2017 annual report.
The energy company secured a petroleum licence for Block A from the Cambodian government in August last year, allowing it to draw oil from the plot in the Gulf of Thailand.