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Phuket Business: Local petrol tax under scrutiny

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Business: Local petrol tax under scrutiny | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization (PPAO) last week refuted claims that they had introduced a “new” tax to be collected on the sale of all fuels in Phuket, including diesel, marine diesel, benzine and gasohol.

The “maintenance tax”, levied as a 10% surcharge on the sale of all engine fuels, is the same tax previously collected by the Excise Department, explained Yongyut Luxsaviboonkul, PPAO Internal Audit Department Chief.

“In the past, the Phuket Excise Department collected this tax for us, but at the end of September we received a letter from the Excise Department in Bangkok saying that from October 1 onwards they will not be responsible for collecting the local maintenance tax on fuel for us anymore,” Mr Yongyut said.

The surcharge is to be levied retroactively, starting October 1.

Mr Yongyut’s comments follow the Phuket Petrol Retailers Club threatening to pass the cost of any new tax on to motorists by raising pump prices.

However, Mr Yongyut has again confirmed that there will be no “new” tax: “The Excise Department collected the tax for us for 12 years, now they say we have the authority to collect it ourselves,” he told the Phuket Gazette.

However, he added: “This change still might affect consumers since the fuel retailers might raise their prices. However, it will not be by a large amount. It will be about 4 satang (0.04 baht) per liter.”

Surat Sangnate, chief of the Tax Collection division at the Phuket Provincial Excise Department office, confirmed the move to have the PPAO collect the tax.

“I received a letter from Excise Department in Bangkok saying that from October 1, they will no longer collect the local maintenance tax for any provincial administrative organizations (PAO), but instead will hand this responsibility back to PAOs. This is because they think that right now PAOs have enough resources to collect it on their own.” Mr Surat explained.

After hearing the news, Mana Rattanayan, president of the Phuket Petrol Retailer Club, told the Gazette, “I did not know that the Excise Department would no longer be collecting the tax. That was not in the letter we received from the PPAO. All the letter said was that the PPAO will start collecting a ‘local maintenance tax’ from all petrol retailers.”

There are 22 petrol operators in Phuket providing fuel from Shell, PTT, ESSO, Caltex, Jusco and Bangchak, he said.

Mr Mana estimated that more than a million liters of petrol are consumed in Phuket each day.

Petrol prices in Phuket are currently higher than in Central Thailand, by as much as 50 satang per liter, due to a transport surcharge. Any rise in price at the gas pumps is likely to have a knock-on effect, the Gazette was told by petrol retailer representatives.

— Atchaa Khamlo / Orawin Naraba

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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