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Small retailers call for more government support

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Small retailers call for more government support | Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: The Phuket Chamber of Commerce (PCC) has called for the central government to do more to help small retailers cope with the on-going expansion of superstores and convenience store chains on the island – including having the stores pay more in local taxes.

PCC President Eam Thavornwongwongse on Friday led a small delegation of PCC representatives at a meeting with Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit at Phuket Provincial Hall.

The delegation presented to the Governor its recommendations following an April 19 meeting of small retailers from across the island.

The PCC is urging the Governor to raise the plight of small retailers with Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont during the premier’s May 13-14 trip to Krabi to meet with Governors of the six Andaman Coast provinces.

Chief among the PCC’s complaints are that large retailers and convenience store chains are not subject to a variety of local taxes because their businesses are registered in Bangkok, not Phuket.

Superstores generate a great deal of garbage and waste in local communities without having to pay local administrative bodies left responsible for its removal, they say.

The PCC requested that Gov Niran raise the following four requests during his meeting with the PM:

1. That all retailers, from large superstores down to small “mom-and-pop” shops, be required to pay all local taxes to the local administrative body in which they are located. This would to help pay for garbage collection and disposal, wastewater treatment and other necessary local government services;

2. To slow down the expansion of superstores and convenience store chains on the island until a new Retail Act is ratified;

3. To establish a low-interest loan fund to enable small retailers to re-invest in their businesses to make them more competitive;

4. To help small retailers identify and develop their competitive advantages so that they can compete better.

Gov Niran said he would try to raise the issue with the PM, along with other pressing problems facing the island.

The Phuket Revenue Office would be asked to report on local taxes paid by large retailers and convenience store chains, which would be asked for cooperation in rectifying local tax payment issues.

However, following a video conference held by Krabi Governor Siwa Sirisaowaluck today to prepare for PM Surayud’s visit, Gov Niran told reporters that because the PM’s time was so limited he would only be able to present Phuket top three priorities – and the small retailers’ concerns were not among them.

He listed the top three priorities that would be raised with the PM as follows: 1. Funding for a second trash incinerator at Saphan Hin; 2. Regional coordination for testing of the tsunami warning system with one province to serve as the coordination center; and better warning coverage on outlying islands; and 3. Funding to improve land, sea and air transport infrastructure.

However, small retailers will take relief from Cabinet today approving a revised version of landmark legislation regulating the retail and wholesale industry. It also assigned the Interior Ministry to use existing laws, including city planning codes and building control laws, to restrain business expansion of retail giants.

 

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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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