Special committee to look into tax on sweet drinks

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A recent proposal to tax sweet drinks is making a headway after the Finance Ministry agreed to set up a committee to find a solution to the matter.

Special committee to look into tax on sweet drinks

The sweet drinks to be taxed includes bottled green tea, and soft drinks.

Somchai Sujjapongse, the permanent-secretary of the Ministry of Finance, said yesterday that the Finance Minister has ordered the ministry to coordinate with soft drinks producers in the country to set up a team to find a solution and come up with an appropriate tax structure for high sugar content soft drinks currently marketed in the country.

The minister also specified that a workable solution must be found within the month, he said.

But representatives from the private sector share their opinions that the proposed tax should be applied equitably and fairly as at present, the rate of sugar usage for the industry varies.

They cite example of the prepared food sector on average uses between 20 – 30% of sugar in the entire industry while soft drinks producers do not exceed 20%.

Furthermore, the dairy sector also uses between 20 – 30% of the industry’s sugar demands.

Thus, if taxes are collected from each and every sector then this will create negative repercussions for consumers as well as farmers.

Meanwhile a recent recommendation to increase taxes on old automobiles of 7 years and older by basing rates on carbon dioxide emissions was aborted.

The official stand is that this measure will take some time yet before it comes into practice.

The popular opinion is that the move would certainly create a huge amount of negative backlash from the general public as on average there are a vast number of vehicles that are 7 years and older owned by the public.