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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        22  April 2011

Thai auto firms want excise tax delay

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Local carmakers want a year to prepare for a new excise tax structure for automobiles. The one-month deadline given by the government is too short they say The FTI will submit a letter to the prime minister asking for a special joint public and private committee to review the new tax system, saying it should not take longer than a year.

The new tax structure is to be based chiefly on vehicle emissions instead of engine size as under the current structure.

"Our stance is to ask for time to adjust ourselves, I really hope to see the government thinking about this aspect cautiously and transparently. The developed countries that designed tax rates based on emission spent many years to find the best solution,” said Payungsak Chartsutipol, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI)."

"We [automakers] are still dealing with imported auto parts supply disruptions because of Japan's natural disaster. Even now no one can predict when suppliers will return to normal production levels." At a March 22 meeting of the Joint Public and Private Consultative Committee, the government asked public and private sector representatives to conclude their proposals for a tax revamp within a month.

However, industry executives at the meeting questioned how authorities arrived at the carbon dioxide emission levels to be used as a base for taxes and whether the levels are appropriate. Some makers are worried about whether they can meet the revised emissions levels.

They also differ on the grace period needed to prepare for the new system. Some manufacturers say they need a grace period of only three years, while others want as many as five.

Mr. Payungsak said that since the car companies all have different views on the tax revamp, the FTI has asked the government to extend the deadline to a year from now.

Earlier, the authorities decided on a flat rate of 30 percent on vehicles with engines smaller than 3,000cc, but vehicles with engine capacity larger than that would remain subject to the present 50 percent tax.

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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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