Taxes up, bribes down – Palang Pracharath Party wants venues to operate legally

Ruling Palang Pracharath Party wants easier business registrations

The ruling Palang Pracharath Party’s Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn wants to make it easier for entertainment venues to operate legally.

The Minister for the Digital Economy would like to see bars and clubs operate within the tax system, bringing in fiscal revenue and administration fees while reducing the scope for bribery.

Chaiwut said on Sunday that Palang Pracharath members had agreed that the law should be amended to…

“Turn bribes into taxes.”

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Legal venue, happy venue

Many ordinary business activities operate differently in other countries but are more restricted in Thailand. In many parts of the world, pubs, bars and other venues are free to operate legally whenever they wish.

It is so difficult for foreigners to invest in and run businesses in Thailand that they are almost obliged to pay bribes to facilitate operations which are otherwise inoffensive.

This results in grey funds and dirty businesses, when in fact many owners of these enterprises would be much happier to operate entirely legally.

Chaiwut said…

“We should amend the law to include what we can accept among international practices. If society accepts it, we can turn bribes into taxes and get rid of corruption.”

There are, of course, many full-blown illegal operations which would continue operating in the dark. Authorities could then enforce laws more strictly to tackle what is unacceptable.

In for a penny…

Businesses which find themselves already operating illegally, tend to diversify into other illegal operations. Activities which would otherwise be legal and acceptable, such as nightclubs, quickly morph into human trafficking enterprises, prostitution rings, illegal drug sales and gambling dens.

KTV venues operating legally are much less likely to have “back rooms” than those already under the umbrella of corruption.

The law can be amended to impose much harsher punishments on genuine crooks rather than troubled business owners. Action taken against offenders would be much bigger and more public, so officials will have to take more appropriate legal action.

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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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