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December 21, 2007

THAILAND/ENVIRONMENT POLICY
New govt urged to implement taxing of polluters

Thailand’s Finance Ministry plans to call on the new government to accelerate collecting taxes levied on polluters, saying the move is necessary because the state spends up to Bt18 billion (US$588.96 million) annually supervising and preventing environmental problems.

Speaking at a seminar on "Legislation on Economics Tools to Cope with Environmental Problems and Water Pollution Taxation," Fiscal Policy Office director-general Pannee Sathavarodom said air and water pollution had increased to worsen environmental problems. The state must spend up to Bt18 billion annually overseeing and addressing the environmental woes.

In response, the Finance Ministry and other agencies saw a need to present legislation of economic tools to cope with environmental concerns and punitive water pollution taxation which would help pay the state's costs incurred.

The ministry had joined with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Chiang Mai University to study the environmental problem and find economics tools to prevent and reduce the woes. It found the collection of tax fees on bonds pledged as collateral when entrepreneurs cause pollution is one effective way to help reduce environmental infractions. Companies which break the country's environmental laws must incur fines.

Mrs. Pannee said the ministry would work together with the Revenue Department, local administrative organisations, and the Industrial Works Department to come up with a comprehensive measure.

She added the environmental problem needed to be prevented and solved urgently. So, the ministry will call on the new government to accelerate deliberating the bill because it will become a master plan for issuing a royal decree to address various kinds of pollution, she said.


Courtesy TNA

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