Thai Bits: Thai Cabinet Thinking About New Cigarette Tax, Police Chief Promises That Thai Cops Caught In Video Suffocating A Man Will Be Fired

New Cigarette Tax Is Being Proposed

Santi Prompat says he will discuss the new excise tax structure for cigarettes with Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith before presenting it to the cabinet next month.
The new flat tax rate of 40% was scheduled to take effect in October 2019, regardless of the retail price, but some related parties have expressed opposition.
In order to review the tax, the ministry postponed its enforcement until Sept. 30 this year.
Currently, cigarettes are subject to two tiers of excise duties. The retail price of packs costing up to 60 baht is subject to a 20% tax rate. A 40% tax rate is applied if the retail price exceeds 60 baht per pack.
Anti said he reviewed the tax details and came to a conclusion, which needs ministerial approval. The conclusion he reached was not disclosed.
Deputy Director-General Lavaron Sangsnit said the new structure will be based on four principles in order to strike a balance between farmers’ income, public health, government revenue, and efforts to prevent smuggling.
According to him, the new structure is intended to discourage smokers and thwart the smuggling of foreign cigarettes, which avoids paying duties.
Ministry source who requested anonymity said since the two-tier cigarette tax was adopted in 2017, the department’s excise revenue from cigarettes fell from 68.6 billion baht in fiscal 2017 to 68.5 billion in 2018, 67.4 billion in 2019, and 62.9 billion in 2020.
During the first seven months of fiscal 2021, the department collected 37.8 billion baht from cigarette taxes.

Thai Cops Caught On Video Suffocating A Man

Several police officers in Nakhon Sawan have been sacked after a video showing a man being suffocated with a plastic bag went viral recently, a day after the provincial police chief pledged to investigate.
A man sits on a chair, surrounded by four men in civilian clothing, in the 2.44-minute clip. The room is full of desks like those found at a police station.
A plastic bag is placed over the head of the seated man by one of the standing men. They beat him a few times while one of them wraps a bag around his neck and tries to keep his head down.
In a briefing on Tuesday evening, police chief Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk said he had instructed chief inspector Pol Gen Wissanu Prasartthongosoth to check the video.
According to Pol Gen Suwat, if the information is accurate, they will be placed on leave pending the investigation.
The clip appeared authentic, which meant a crime had been committed. A panel will be formed after they are temporarily removed from service to take serious disciplinary action against them.
In parallel, his deputy, Police General Suchart Teerasawat, will conduct a criminal investigation into the murder.
“We believe 13 police officers were involved and all will be charged as soon as possible,” he said.

Note: Nakgon Sawan is not far from Bangkok. It is about 1 to 2 hours to get there. You can take a van, a bus or a train to get there. It is near Lopburi, a city know for having monkeys on the streets. It is the biggest city in that area.


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