Tobacco giant criticises new tax; border controls tightened to prevent smuggling

Published September 23, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

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Tobacco giant criticises new tax; border controls tightened to prevent smuggling

national September 18, 2017 01:00

By THE NATION

2,308 Viewed

AUTHORITIES tightened border controls to prevent smuggling while a leading international tobacco company yesterday urged the government to improve the structure of the tobacco tax to meet global standards after a new excise tax took effect over the weekend, raising the retail price of cigarettes and alcohol.

The Excise Department announced a new tax structure and new rates on Saturday. For low-cost cigarette brands priced costing Bt60 or less, the tax will add Bt4 to Bt15 per pack, while higher-priced cigarettes will be taxed at Bt2 to Bt10 more per pack.

Philip Morris Thailand Limited (PMTL) congratulated the Thailand government on the implementation of its new excise tax system based on suggested retail prices, while stating that the company supported the government initiative to address the expansion of cheap cigarettes, but said the new tobacco tax system fell short of international best practices.

“The announced tobacco excise rates still have room to improve to meet the global best practices endorsed by a number of organisations including the World Bank, World Health Organisation and nearly all developed countries,” Gerald Margolis, PMTL managing director, said in a statement.

The new tax system creates a tiered tax by providing a 50 per cent reduction on the ad valorem, or “according to value”, excise rate for cigarettes priced below Bt60 a pack, he said.

The tiered tax structure created an unfair playing field among domestic manufacturers and importers, and would accelerate down trading by providing incentives for manufacturers and importers to produce cheap cigarettes, he said.

This would further promote smoking, including among the young. “We believe that the government’s transition plan moving towards a single tax rate at the end of the next two years is a step in the right direction, and fully support and encourage the acceleration of that plan,” he said.

PMTL wanted to move towards a smoke-free future and supported a tax policy based on the principle of tobacco harm-reduction that encourages smokers to switch from cigarettes to less harmful alternatives, such as noncombustible tobacco products, he said.

These products and tax policies should bring health benefits to Thailand, Margolis said. He added that the firm was assessing the impact of the new structure and would take necessary steps to maintain a competitive portfolio for its business.

Meanwhile, news of the new excise tax kept duty free shops at the borders with Malaysia and Cambodia busy yesterday as Thai consumers looked for cheaper cigarettes and alcohol, according to vendors and customs officials.

The authorities allow the import of one litre of drinking alcohol and 200 cigarettes from abroad free of tax. People in Yala’s Betong district were making unusual border crossings to buy the items from duty free shops on the Malaysian side yesterday, Thai officials said. They added that they were strictly imposing the quota.

In Si Sa Ket province’s Chong Sa Ngam checkpoint yesterday, security and customs officials tightened controls as they feared smuggling of cigarettes and alcohol from Cambodia into Thailand in the wake of the tax rise.

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Cabinet to consider Chao Phraya Basin water plan

Published September 23, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30326949

A rescue team helps a woman and her children evacuate their flooded house in Phitsanulok province’s Wang Thong district. Heavy rains caused by Typhoon Doksuri.
A rescue team helps a woman and her children evacuate their flooded house in Phitsanulok province’s Wang Thong district. Heavy rains caused by Typhoon Doksuri.

Cabinet to consider Chao Phraya Basin water plan

national September 18, 2017 01:00

By THE NATION

3,809 Viewed

More flooding looms as experts point out issues with Bt200-bn proposed projects.

THE Bt200-billion flood and drought prevention plan for the Chao Phraya River Basin will be presented to the Cabinet tomorrow, while water-management experts have voiced concerns over the public’s knowledge about the plan and opportunities for participation.

The National Water Resource Committee announced it was planning to present the plan – which will include many projects including new water sluices, irrigation canals and the Chao Phraya River widening project – for consideration by a mobile Cabinet meeting in Ayutthaya tomorrow.

Meanwhile, heavy rains resulting from Tropical Storm Doksuri, which has weakened from a typhoon, have caused extensive flooding in many provinces in the North and Northeast regions.

Water Resource Department director-general Worasart Aphaiphong, who is also secretary of the National Water Resource Committee, said the committee had gathered all the proposed water management projects covering the area from Chai Nat province to Bangkok and the Chao Phraya River Delta to sustainably solve flood and drought problems in the region over a six-year period.

The total plan is estimated to cost Bt200 billion.

Worasart said the plan would involve a large variety of irrigation projects, such as designating land as new water retention areas, installing new water sluices, |constructing riverside embankments and widening the Chao Phraya River, all of which were intended to solve chronic problems relating to flooding and drought.

“These projects will not be the same as those in the previous government’s water management plan, as we will ask local people for their opinions. If we have to allocate such a large sum of money [to spend on the projects], all the projects will have to be presented in clear detail to the Cabinet,” he said.

Government Spokesperson Lt-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the government cared about water issues in the Central region, adding that the new water management plan would create more than 200,000 rai (32,000 hectares) of irrigated areas and benefit more than 155,000 families.

However, prominent water expert Hannarong Yaowalers said he was still very sceptical about the new water management plan, as information about the projects had not been fully disclosed and local people did not have a chance to learn about new projects that would be conducted near their homes.

“One of my concerns about this plan is a new irrigation canal in Ayutthaya, which will affect many people due to land expropriation and the possible impacts on the Chao Phraya River,” Hannarong said.

“I would like to ask the government to disclose the details of all projects in this plan and let local people engage with these projects. Moreover, such a gigantic plan should not be rushed and there should be proper studies on every aspect before starting the projects.”

In related news, Tropical Storm Doksuri has submerged many provinces in the North and Northeast under floodwater, with residents in many areas bracing for further inundation. Many of the provinces in the upper Northeast region are still in the process of recovering from severe flooding caused by last storms last month.

The Meteorological Department has warned people in many parts of the North, Northeast, East and South regions to brace for possible flash floods due to intense rainfall that should easy after today.

Anti-Sotus page alleges sexual abuse of Silpakorn U freshmen

Published September 23, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30326947

Anti-Sotus page alleges sexual abuse of Silpakorn U freshmen

national September 18, 2017 01:00

By THE NATION

2,194 Viewed

SEXUAL HARASSMENT and verbal abuse during the freshmen welcoming ceremony of the Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts at Silpakorn University have been reported by incoming students.

The Anti-Sotus Facebook page reported that freshmen students experienced serious abuse, including graphic sexual harassment, at the welcoming ceremony for the faculty at Silpakorn University on Saturday.

Several accounts posted by freshmen who attended the ceremony described senior students giving dubious orders and committing many acts of sexual harassment and discrimination against freshmen, especially male students.

The Anti-Sotus group was formed in response to a tradition in Thai universities termed “Seniority, Order, Tradition, Unity and Spirit”, which has often been associated with student hazing.

The stories from anonymous students posted on the Anti-Sotus page described hazing, including forcing male freshmen to strip naked and shower together before ordering them to simulate sexual acts. Students also claimed that senior male students had rubbed their penises against freshmen’s buttocks.

Such behaviour could be defined as sexual assault.

Another student wrote in a post that freshmen had been woken in the middle of the night and forced to take off all their clothes and lie down in positions in which the young students’ faces were aligned with each other’s buttocks.

Another freshmen wrote that she had been rebuked by a senior student, who said she had used her mother’s death as an excuse to skip the freshmen welcoming ceremony. The student wrote that her mother had recently passed away.

An online campaign on Change.org has also been created to demand that Silpakorn University investigate the issue.

The Anti-Sotus Fanpage stated that there had not been a response from senior students, teachers or the university about extreme hazing, despite allegations of abusive behaviour and sexual harassment of freshmen students at initiation ceremonies being repeated year after year.

Northeastern mental-health clubs help children with special needs

Published September 23, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30326946

Northeastern mental-health clubs help children with special needs

national September 18, 2017 01:00

By The Nation

More than 70 per cent of children with special needs in seven Northeastern provinces have not received treatment partly because their parents feel ashamed of bringing them out of their homes.

These provinces are Udon Thani, Loei, Nong Bua Lamphu, Sakon Nakhon, Nong Khai, Beung Kan and Nakhon Phanom.

“Many parents think that, because of their bad deeds from the past, they are punished by having children with disabilities,” Mental Health Department’s director-general Sqn Ldr Dr Boonruang Triruangworawat said during a recent work trip to the Northeast.

He said some other parents did not seek treatment for their children because they lacked adequate knowledge.

“A survey has found that just seven per cent of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have received medical services,” Boonruang said,

He added that only 29 per cent of autistic children in the seven provinces had received treatment.

The Mental Health Centre 8, which oversees these provinces, has tried to help children with autism, ADHD, learning disabilities and other conditions by setting up clubs for them and their parents.

After the clubs were established, the centre found that more children with special needs have received regular treatment and rehabilitation. As a result, they have become less aggressive and they can speak more coherently.

Up to 20 per cent of the rehabilitated children can enrol in a school dedicated to those with special needs, while up to 10 per cent of them can enrol in regular schools.

“We have also noticed that parents now have greater courage and hope in raising their children and beating the odds,” Boonruang said.

He said the parents’ stress levels had also significantly reduced.

Members of some clubs had come together for activities that could help supplement their incomes such as making funeral flowers for sale, with some families earning between Bt3,000 and Bt5,000 extra per month.

Dispute over fish ladders to save species

Published September 23, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30326937

Dispute over fish ladders to save species

national September 18, 2017 01:00

By PRATCH RUJIVANAROM
THE NATION

4,122 Viewed

Advocates argue scaly fish can pass through river barriers

RESEARCH TO develop a ladder to help native fish navigate upstream in rivers facing major hydropower project construction may be the best hope for preserving fish biodiversity, says an organisation dedicated to fisheries.

But at least one leading academic is not convinced.

Khom Silpachan, secretary-general of the South East Asian Fisheries Development Centre (SEAFDEC), said fish ladders developed to suit Thailand’s native fish species could help them migrate as they swim up rivers to spawn. The ladder would help the fish swim around dams, he added.

Khom argued that a breakthrough in ladder research would ensure the survival of fish species in Thai rivers. And it could be adapted by other countries in the region, especially those bordering the Mekong River, where many dams are being constructed on its main tributary.

“Thailand and our Asean neighbours are a biodiversity hotspot for freshwater fish, but right now they are facing a threat to their survival. Recently, there have been many irrigation and hydropower projects in the region. The structures obstruct the migration passage of fish up and down the rivers,” he said. Many more irrigation and hydropower projects are being planned.

“Many kinds of fish have to migrate upriver to reproduce. Cutting up their migration route often results in a great decline in the number of fish or even extinction of the species.

“Therefore, the fish ladder is a very essential innovation to help the fish migration and ensure the survival of their species.”

Suthipong Thanasarnsakhon, the head of fisheries engineering for SEAFDEC, said the fish ladder research began in May 2015 in search of a solution specific to the needs of Thailand’s fish and water conditions. A fish ladder at Pak Mon Dam had been found impractical and taught researchers that a design used in the West was unsuitable here.

“Our design of fish ladder has vertical slots that the fish can swim through, unlike the fish ladders in the Western countries designed for salmon to jump up the horizontal rungs of the ladder,” Suthipong said.

“Right now our design has an 11-degree slope. We experimented on 10 species of endemic Thai fish. We found that five species of fish can successfully climb the ladder and all of them are scaly fish.”

There is more research to be done, and the fish ladder design would have to be improved to allow more species of fish to use it, he said. A field experiment at Nong Han Lake in Sakhon Nakhon will soon be scheduled.

Khom added that the right design could save many fish. The technology could be shared among other Asean countries, which share a marked decline in fish numbers due to rive damming. “Right now there are more than 800 species of fish in Mekong River and 100 of them are migratory fish,” he said.

However, prominent freshwater fish expert Nonn Panitwong argued that fish ladders were the wrong answer for saving regional biodiversity and could not sufficiently mitigate the impacts from dams.

“The fish ladder is originally designed for specific species of fish to pass the dam, for instance salmon, and not every type of fish in the river can use the ladder,” Nonn said.

“The success of a fish ladder in other countries cannot be replicated here, because our tropical region has far more diverse species of fish than the colder regions.”

He noted that even though SEAFDEC had confirmed that scaly fish could climb the ladder, more than one-quarter of other fish species could not pass and so large numbers of fish species would be lost.

He also said that installing fish ladders was a complicated matter. Finding a good location is a challenge, and developing a technique to attract the fish in order to climb the ladder is a complex issue.

Instead of using fish ladders, officials should implement more practical solutions such as opening water gates at specific periods of time to allow migrating fish through, he said.

“However, I think that the best solution is to refrain from constructing the harmful projects in the first place, or we are sacrificing the food security and rich biodiversity of the region to projects that benefit only a few.”

‘Nong Than’ leads the way from her wheelchair

Published September 23, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30326935

‘Nong Than’ leads the way from her wheelchair

national September 18, 2017 01:00

By CHULARAT SAENGPASSA
THE NATION

2,728 Viewed

EVERY DAY, a young woman in a wheelchair has been serving happiness to patients who need moral support at the World Medical Hospital.

Nitcharee “Nong Than” Peneakchanasak, who lost both legs in an accident in Singapore six years ago, smilingly greets patients, listens to their problems, and shares her inspiring attitudes about how to beat the odds. “Moral support is crucial to patients struggling with illnesses or injuries,” said Nitcharee, now 21. “But while moral support is important, even more meaningful is our strength of mind.”

She started working at the hospital more than one month ago under a coveted six-month contract.

The World Medical Hospital has agreed to pay Nitcharee Bt1 million a month under the contract, believing that her positive mindset will benefit patients.

“She stands out from other candidates because she does not just deliver motivational speeches. She does what she has talked about. She embodies it,” said Kantaporn Harnphanich, deputy hospital director of marketing of the Thai division at the World Medical Hospital.

Although Nitcharee faced a big loss, she has refused to give in to pain. Rather, she has mustered her courage, her resilience and optimism to live a good, useful life.

Nitcharee has enrolled at the prestigious Thammasat University, studying communication. She has played sports, sometimes with the help of prosthetic legs, including badminton and swimming. She has also served the public, via events and campaigns she can take part in.

And after winning the patient-happiness survey position at the hospital, she has spent most of her time talking to patients to lift their spirits.

“We have got very good feedback from patients” about her, Kantaporn said. When she has no other obligation, Nitcharee has been known to spend her whole day, seven days a week, at the hospital.

She sprints around on her wheelchair, visiting inpatients in their rooms.

“How are you today?” She pops out this greeting with a smile every time she meets a new patient.

Then they will talk, share their experiences, and discuss inspiring and useful principles for life.

For patients with ongoing treatments, or requiring a prolonged stay at the hospital, Nitcharee has already been more like a friend.

Asked about the secrets behind her inspiring life, Nitcharee said she accepted the realities – including the hurtful ones. “I am conscious of what I think and do. When a problem arises, I look for ways to solve it, perhaps little by little,” she said.

Nitcharee said she had never tried to fool herself into believing what is not real. “I live in the realities and live my life as happily as I can,” she said.

The young, cheerful woman said that her desire to share these tips with others going through what she has, led her to apply for the post of patient-happiness surveyor.

“I know patients in general need moral support. So, I want to give mine to them. We can share our stories and empower each other.”

She is also working on a plan to raise donations for foundations or organisations that provide prosthetic legs to those in need.

Kantaporn endorses Nitcharee’s plan. “Our hospital is working on the project to raise funds for the underprivileged, particularly in regards to the provision of prosthetic legs,” he said.

‘Stateless’ students granted citizenship under new policy

Published September 23, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30326913

‘Stateless’ students granted citizenship under new policy

national September 17, 2017 12:44

3,053 Viewed

Some 548 formerly “stateless” students, who were born to ethnic minorities or displaced persons residing in Thailand before 1999, were granted citizenship at a ceremony presided over by Grisada Boonrach, the Permanent Secretary for the Interior on September 12, Grisada gave each student a National Id Card .

The ceremony at the Community Hall of Muang District, Mae Hong Son province, followed the Cabinet’s approval of criteria and procedures for acquisition of Thai nationality by children born in Thailand to stateless parents who have resided in the country for not less than 15 years.

The government has been working to create a path to Thai nationality for people born in Thailand to ethnic groups or displaced persons who have long resided in Thailand. The approach would be consistent with Thailand’s nationality laws and international human rights laws.

The Permanent Secretary welcomed the new citizens with a sermon on legal and moral obligations. He also encouraged these students to dedicate themselves to education and make use of the education to contribute to the country as decent citizens of Thailand. At the ceremony, these new citizens affirmed the oath of Thai citizenship in front of a portrait of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun and sang the National Anthem to express their loyalty to Thailand and the monarch.

The ceremony was also attended by various stakeholders from the province, including Mae Hong Son Governor Suebsak Aiemwijarn, high-level provincial officials, chief district officers, other relevant governmental officials, and representatives of local NGOs which have closely engaged in resolving statelessness amongst students with Mae Hong Son’s government.

The NGOs include the Legal Status Network Foundation (LSNF), the Development Center for Children and Community Network (DCCN), the Social Life Project (SLP), Thailand Lahu Development Foundation (TLDF), the International Justice Mission (IJM) and the 19th District of the Church of Christ in Thailand.

Government doubles down on proposed Deep South safety zones

Published September 23, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30326885

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Government doubles down on proposed Deep South safety zones

national September 17, 2017 01:00

By The Sunday Nation

2,405 Viewed

GOVERNMENT negotiators would continue to push forward the proposal to designate safety zones in the Deep South, even though related parties are not yet ready at this stage, said General Aksara Kerdphol, the country’s chief negotiator for peace in the violence-prone region.

His remark followed the latest deadly bomb ambush of security officers last Thursday in the southern province of Yala. Aksara vowed to pursue strong legal actions against those responsible for the attack.

He said the peace process takes time and its success depends on the readiness of all the parties concerned, especially with regard to the proposed safety zones.

During the September 11-12 meeting, the Thai side expressed their sincerity and readiness to enforce the proposal in cooperation with residents in the affected areas, he said, adding that any further delay would hurt the local people’s interests. Despite the lack of a conclusion on the best approach to creating safety zones, Thai authorities would continue to push forward the peace process and adopt zoning measure for the best interests of residents in all 37 districts in the Deep South, Aksara said.

Meanwhile, the Thai side would also continue to work with all the other parties concerned to resolve issues in the Deep South, including multiple local development projects to ensure violence and casualities are reduced.

In the end, said Aksara, persistent efforts are expected to prevail when all related parties are ready to cooperate for peace in the region. Efforts will move forward even though some parties have extremist ideologies and resort to violent means to achieve their goals, he said.

The government would continue with strong legal and other counter-measures, he said.

Last Thursday, insurgents planted three roadside bombs in Yala. The first bomb was used to lure security officials to the scene, where they encountered them more powerful second and third bombs that resulted in two deaths and multiple people injured.

Weakened storm Doksuri unleashes deluge, causing floods

Published September 23, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30326884

  • Villages are engulfed by a deluge of water as deep as 30 to 50 centimetres after a flash flood struck Phrae province yesterday, following a torrential downpour on Friday night. Officials were sent into the affected areas to provide aid.

Weakened storm Doksuri unleashes deluge, causing floods

national September 17, 2017 01:00

By THE SUNDAY NATION

2,777 Viewed

TROPICAL storm Doksuri has weakened into a depression and unleashed heavy downpours in several North-eastern and Northern provinces on Friday night, resulting in floods in many provinces yesterday morning.

Other provinces were making preparations yesterday in expectation of more rain.

The Thai Meteorological Depart-ment reported that Doksuri was downgraded from a typhoon to a tropical storm when it swept through Vietnam on Friday. It reached Vien-tiane in Laos early yesterday and was downgraded to a depression when it reached Nan at 10am yesterday.

Chaiyaphum, Loei, Phitchit, Phitsanulok, Nakhon Phanom and Kalasin were among provinces hit by heavy rains because of the influence of Doksuri.

In Chaiyaphum, mountain run-off hit three villages and inundated a road in Muang district yesterday morning.

Heavy overnight downpours triggered by Doksuri caused the run-off from the Phu Lanka mountains in Tad Tone Waterfall National Park. The deluge hit three villages in Tambon Nafai of Chaiyaphum’s Muang district in the morning. In Moo 3 village, over 100 houses were inundated.

The floodwater also inundated the Chaiyaphum-Tad Tone road at kilometre marker 12 for about one kilometre, with the water levels ranging from 30 centimetres to one metre. Police and district officials had to block the flooded section and divert traffic to an alternative road.

In Phichit’s Muang district, several roads in were inundated on Saturday morning following a heavy overnight downpour unleashed by the tropical storm. The rain started at about 7pm on Friday and continued until morning.

Several roads in Phichit downtown and outer areas were flooded, with water levels ranging from 20 to 30cm.

Floods also hit the Phichit Agricultural Office and the Phichit Non-Formal Education Office in Tambon Klong Kachen. At the education office, the water was about 70cm high, causing damage to official vehicles parked there. Phichit governor Weerasak Wichitsaengsi directed operations to help residents in the downtown area, where water pumps were installed to drain floodwaters.

Several roads in Phitsanulok’s downtown were inundated after heavy downpours in the province’s Muang district from 1am to 6am yesterday. Officials said Uthong, Wisutthi Kasat and Phra Ong Dam roads were under 30 to 40cm of water.

And the Ban Nam Pad School in Phitsanulok’s Noen Maprang district was hit by flash flooding for the ninth time this year early yesterday.

The school director, Ket Tuankrua, said the Nam Pad Canal burst its banks to inundate the school at 4am yesterday following heavy overnight downpours in Tambon Chompu.

Cigarettes, alcoholic drinks to cost more

Published September 23, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30326883

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Cigarettes, alcoholic drinks to cost more

national September 17, 2017 01:00

By WICHIT CHAITRONG
THE SUNDAY NATION

4,421 Viewed

New excise tax rates come into effect; department targets Bt12 billion revenue

NEW EXCISE taxes have affected prices across industries ranging from beverages to cars, with the new tax regime causing higher prices for some items but lower prices for others.

The Excise Department ex-|pects to collect additional tax |revenue of Bt12 billion from the changes.

New excise taxes will cause “moderate” rises in the prices of alcoholic beverages, sugary drinks and cigarettes, the director general of the Excise Department, Somchai Poolsavasdi, said yesterday. It may also cause a small rise in prices for imported cars and cars manufactured in customs-free zones.

Somchai told a press conference that the new taxes rates would be effective immediately. The price of many items would not increase and some items would be taxed less, he said. Some producers might absorb rising costs for products facing high market competition, he said, but in any case consumers would not pay much more for these products.

The new excise system is based on the retail price, while the previous system was based on ex-factory or CIF (cost, insurance and freight) prices.

“The new tax system will be more transparent and just as it is based on only the suggested retail price proposed by manufacturers,” said Somchai.

The details are as following: The tax per bottle of wine priced above Bt1,000 will be Bt110 upwards, depending on the price. The tax on locally made wine will decrease by Bt25 per bottle.

The tax on a can of beer will be Bt0.50 higher, and for bottles of beer it will be Bt2.66 more. For higher-priced beer, the tax will decrease by between Bt0.99 and Bt2.

White spirit will be taxed more |by Bt0.84 to Bt3.49 per bottle. For other kinds of locally produced |spirit, the additional tax will be |Bt8 per bottle for drinks with 28 per cent alcohol content and Bt30 for drinks with 40 per cent alcohol content.

The tax on other imported spirits, such as Johnnie Walker Red and Blue Label Scotch whisky, will be a little less, from Bt3 to Bt26 depending on alcohol content. The variance is due to a tax hike on higher alcohol content.

“In the future, the tax will increase based on alcohol content, with high levels of alcohol subject to higher taxes,” said Somchai.

For low-cost cigarette brands priced at Bt60 or lower, the tax will add Bt4 to Bt15 more per pack, while higher-priced cigarettes will be taxed at Bt2-10 more per pack.

“After two years, the tax rates of cigarettes would be the same at 40 per cent of its price and Bt1.2 per roll,” said Somchai.

Sugary drinks are also subject to higher taxes.

Soft drink taxes will be Bt0.13 to Bt 0.50 per bottle, but sugar-free soft drinks will be taxed less by Bt0.28 to Bt0.36 per bottle. Energy drinks will be taxed more, ranging from Bt0.32 to Bt0.90 per can or bottle. Green tea will be taxed Bt1.13 to Bt2.05 more per bottle, and the tax on coffee will be Bt1.35 more per bottle or can.

After two years, taxes on sugary drinks will rise to reflect the proportion of sugar they contain.

Some cars also have higher |taxes.

While the overall tax rate |has not increased, imported cars |and those manufactured in the country’s free-tax zone will see “a small rise”, said Somchai. The latter increase reflects the switch from a tax based on CIF prices to one based on retail prices.

Somchai had been lobbied by manufacturers worried over price rises under the new tax system.

Tax rates on cars are between 20 and 40 per cent, and taxes on pickup passenger vehicles (PPV), “space cabs” and pickups are between 2.5 and 40 per cent. The tax on hybrid cars is 8 per cent, and half that if manufacturers get special tax privileges from the Board of Investment (BOI).

The tax on electric vehicles (EV) and fuel cells is also 8 per cent, down from 10 per cent previously. EVs with BOI investment privileges will be taxed at only 2 per cent.

The Excise Department forecasts that the new excise tax will increase its annual revenue by additional Bt12 billion, Somchai said.

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