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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        7  June  2011

Tata Motors backs Thai tax reform

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Tata Motors says it welcomes a restructuring of vehicle taxes in Thailand as long as the system is transparent and authorities can ensure that automakers do not try to exploit loopholes.

The Indian automaker says it supports planned changes in excise taxes that would be based on efficient use of energy, pollution reduction and enhanced safety standards instead of engine size and horsepower as in the current structure.

The company also suggests that the government should reduce taxes on commercial vehicles and increase the number of NGV service stations nationwide to encourage wider use of greener fuel. Abhichet Sitakalin, vice-president for sales, marketing and customer care at Tata Motors Thailand, said the company agreed with using carbon dioxide emissions as a key criterion in deciding excise tax rates for all types of vehicles.

''This would spur all automobile brands to give priority to the development of energy-saving, eco-friendly automotive technology in their vehicle production processes,'' he said.

In any case, he said, the new tax regime must be clear, transparent and practical for all carmakers.

The Excise Department and the industry are still reviewing the proposals, which call for tax rates between 30 percent and 50 percent based on engine size. However, rates would be cut by 5 percentage points if low emissions targets are met.

Mr. Abhichet said Tata Motors was confident that all of its pickups equipped with either 2.2-litre diesel engines or CNG engines would pass the government's emission standards.

He also maintains that commercial vehicles generally should be taxed at lower rates. ''The government should understand that commercial vehicles, including single-cab pickups, load-carrying trucks and tractor trucks, are not luxury goods and they are necessary for occupational use,'' he said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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