Ministry to consider tax perks to stimulate retail spending

Ministry to consider tax perks to stimulate retail spending

The Finance Ministry is ready to consider retail operators' proposal for tax breaks on shopping to stimulate domestic spending, says Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana.

The ministry has delegated related agencies, including the Fiscal Policy Office, the Revenue Department and the Excise Department, to examine the possibilities, Mr Uttama said yesterday.

His comments came after retailers asked the government to apply a shopping tax break similar to the one in 2015-16, only this time raising the cap on claimed value to 50,000 baht per shopper from 30,000 baht.

"We need to consider in detail what are the problems and what are appropriate measures," Mr Uttama said. "We've launched relief measures, and the domestic tourism-boosting package is the latest example."

Chadatip Chutrakul, chief executive of Siam Piwat Co, the operator of Siam Paragon, Siam Center and Iconsiam, said the government should come up with measures to compel people to leave the house and spend more.

Other incentives could include special campaigns like grand sales or a renewed Taste-Shop-Spend tax perk.

But the measures should be arranged for a longer period of 3-6 months to give people more time to go shopping, Mrs Chadatip said.

"The government has already launched a host of measures to remedy many sectors, but any measures for the retail sector are yet to be declared or made available," she said.

Wuttikiat Techamongklapiwat, president of Robinson Plc, said the company would like the government to launch a shopping stimulus package for the retail market as soon as possible. He cited the difficulty of relying strictly on local consumption.

"Measures or shopping incentives, if provided, will help stimulate people to spend more in the country," Mr Wuttikiat said. "Without any aid or stimulus measures, rising unemployment is anticipated, aggravating a retail business already hard-hit by the deadly virus."

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