Secretary-general of the Kla Party, Atavit Suwannapakdee, believes the government should lift the restriction on selling alcohol from 2pm to 5pm to help the tourism industry recover, adding there are no rules restricting the hours of alcohol sales in any other Southeast Asian country.
“Thailand used to attract 40 million tourists a year, generating 3 trillion baht in revenue, but there has been a law prohibiting the sale of alcohol from 2pm to 5pm since 1972 for the outdated reason that drunk civil servants will not work productively.
“The Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, which restricts the hours during which alcoholic drinks can be sold, has to be updated since it continues to be a barrier for tourism companies that have already been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.”
The Kla Party, founded by the former finance minister and longstanding Democrat veteran Korn Chatikavanij, has gained traction in recent weeks, with members seeking a range of reforms, including the legalisation of gambling to boost the economy.
The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration proposed on July 1 that night entertainment venues be allowed to be open until 2am and that the law governing alcohol sales be updated to reflect the current situation.
Thanakorn Kuptajit, a former head of the Thai Alcohol Beverage Business Association, says regulations banning licensed vendors from selling alcoholic beverages between 2pm and 5pm will not prevent people from buying alcohol.
“Instead, the authorities should seriously enforce the law that prohibits selling alcoholic beverages to customers aged below 20 and revise the zoning requirement to sell alcoholic beverages, because this is no longer appropriate to the current situation.”
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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