Tobacco trade group urges delay in cigarette tax increase
By The Nation
Following the discovery of rampant use of contraband cigarettes in the seven lower southern provinces, the Thai Tobacco Trade Association on Wednesday called on the government to delay the next cigarette tax hike, scheduled for October.
Association director Waraporn Namat noted that a Nida Poll it commissioned found most tobacco retailers in the seven provinces believed cigarettes produced in the country illegally or smuggled in were eating into their revenues.
Waraporn said 1,157 shop owners in Trang, Phatthalung, Satun, Songkhla, Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat were surveyed between March 12 and 30.
Half of them acknowledged that smuggled cigarettes were widely available in their provinces, with Songkhla, Satun and Narathiwat seeing the most smuggled smokes.
Many warned that another tax hike on legal cigarettes would prompt more smokers to turn to the contraband variety.
Waraporn said last September’s excise tax increase boosted the retail price of a packet of cigarettes to Bt60, while a smuggled packet could be purchased for just Bt10.
The association learned that the Songkhla Provincial Administrative Organisation was able to collect only Bt7.2 million in taxes on cigarette sales in the first four months of this year, down from Bt12.2 million during the same period last year.
Waraporn said the 41-per-cent drop proved that, because of contraband, the legal trade suffers when taxes rise.
She said if the Finance Ministry raises taxes again in October as planned, the retail price could rise to Bt70 or Bt80 and the market could be flooded with more contraband cigarettes.
Mother admits drowning her three-year-old son in AyutthayaBy The Nation A Nonthaburi mother on Friday confessed to drowning her three-year-old son in a small pond in Ayutthaya out of frustration because she had not been drunk for days, police said. Rungthip Yothikar, 34, admitted on Friday...READ MORE...
PM in Brussels for 12th ASEM and EU-ASEAN Leader's Meeting BRUSSELS, 19th October 2018 (NNT) – The Prime Minister has met Thai citizens living in Belgium ahead of taking part in the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and EU-ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting. Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha was greeted by...READ MORE...
Thai drivers ignoring 11 million traffic ticketsBy The Nation FILE photo With drivers in Thailand currently ignoring more than 11 million traffic tickets, police are hastening efforts to link their online database with the Land Transport Department’s vehicle registration system. Pol Lt Gen...READ MORE...
Teachers must adapt to changing world, summit toldBy The Nation The role of a teacher must go beyond lecturing in an era where advanced technology alienates people from one another and online information is a mix of truth and lies, Royal Society member Prof Emeritus Sumon Amornvivat said at a...READ MORE...