Pattaya Daily News

08 May 2009 :: 11:05:13 am 37021

GOVT Hikes Excise Tax On Alcohol; Cabinet Approves Second Stimulus Programme

BANGKOK, May 6 -- Thailand's Finance Ministry is to increase excise taxes on several alcoholic drinks from Thursday in a bid to boost government revenues after tax collection during the first half of fiscal 2009 dropped significantly, Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij said on Wednesday.
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In another development, the Cabinet gave the green light to its second economic stimulus programme with total investment worth Bt1.43 trillion ($41 billion), he said.

Effective Thursday, excise taxes for beer will rise to Bt60 per litre from Bt55, white liquor to Bt120 per litre from Bt110 and blended liquor to Bt300 a litre from Bt280. The increase in excise taxes will enable the ministry to earn about Bt6.3 billion ($179 million) more annually.

Excise taxes for other products, including cigarettes will also be increased in the near future as the ministry hopes to earn about Bt70 billion more, he said.

The move to increase excise taxes came after tax revenues collected by the government during the first half of fiscal 2009 – October 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009 – declined significantly, as outlined by permanent secretary Suparat Kawatkul recently.

During the period, excise tax collection fell more than 20 per cent year-on-year while revenue tax collection was down by around 9-10 per cent.

With respect to the government’s second economic stimulus programme, the Cabinet decided to invest Bt1.43 trillion, down from Bt1.57 trillion agreed earlier, the package geared to jump start the economy between 2010 and 2012, Mr. Korn said.

He said the government is prepared to invest Bt1.1 trillion out of the total immediately. Investment will be focused on water management, improving transportation facilities, energy, education and public health.

These projects are expected to create two million jobs and push up gross domestic product (GDP) to exceed Bt10 trillion, he said. If achieved, this will be the first time per capita GDP has exceeded US$4,000.

The government will concentrate on borrowing money from domestic financial institutions to finance these projects, he added. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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