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PM tasks Finance to clarify new excise tax law

As there is growing concern that the new excise tax law could become a new channel for officials to corrupt, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday encouraged the Finance Ministry to clarify the law to all people concerned.

According to the National News Bureau of Thailand, the prime minister has stressed that determining excise tax for liquor requires fairness.

He said he would ask the ministry to clarify the new excise tax law over concerns that it could become a medium for corruption.

The prime minister raised the issue as he addressed the Thailand Development Research Institute's (TDRI) concerns that the government's new tax could become a channel for corruption, particularly the excise tax structure for liquor.

The excise tax rate for whisky is at 1,000 baht per litre, as contrary to 3,000 baht per liquor for wine or beer.

The TDRI is concerned that this difference could drive the price of whiskey up and goes against the institute's proposal to tie the tax rate to the percentage of alcohol by volume which is the international practice adopted by many countries.

The TDRI is also concerned that Thailand's new excise tax rate for liquor would encourage corruption among state officials who could reap benefit by conspiring with liquor producers or importers.

Prime Minister Gen Prayut has said that regarding the excise tax structure for liquor, relevant agencies would be tasked with establishing a tax rate that would ensure fairness.

He then assigned the ministry to clarify this issue further.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)