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Thailand to raise minimum wage amid inflation

BANGKOK, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Thai cabinet on Tuesday approved a plan to raise the minimum wage by an average of 5 percent, the first hike since January 2020, in an effort to help workers cope with inflation that hovers at a 14-year high.

After the adjustment, effective on Oct. 1, the minimum wage will be divided into nine groups of provinces, ranging from 328 baht (about 9.05 U.S. dollars) to 354 baht (about 9.77 U.S. dollars) per day, according to acting government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri.

Anucha said the government has considered various factors before making the decision and the increases should not affect the country's economic growth or further stoke inflation.

The decision came as the country's consumer inflation growth stood at 7.86 percent year on year in August, the highest level since July 2008, fueled by rising energy prices. The Ministry of Commerce expected the country's inflation to rise within a range of 5.5-6.5 percent this year.

On Tuesday, the cabinet also approved extending a diesel price cap for two more months and extend an electricity subsidy program until December to mitigate the impact of high energy prices on living costs, Anucha said.