Thai Shopping Centre Association urges government to assist businesses affected by pandemic measures, promises to help drive economy and country

Thai Shopping Centre Association urges government to assist businesses affected by pandemic measures, promises to help drive economy and country

The Thai Shopping Centre Association (TSCA), in a conference call with Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha and representatives from governmental organisations, urged the government to launch urgent measures to rehabilitate the business sector and reduce the impacts of the pandemic, including sustaining employment, promoting continuous investment, boosting investor confidence in the long run, hastening the mass vaccination for businesses and cutting expenses.

The association said the shopping centres and retail businesses would continue to support the government initiatives and public health measures and ensure cleanliness and hygiene at the shopping centres. 

Mr. Nopporn Witoonchart, President of the TSCA and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Siam Future Development plc., said, “The shopping centre businesses, as represented by the TSCA, would like to express gratitude to the Prime Minister and the public sector for the opportunity to propose a plan to drive the economy and the country. The association is ready to provide support to entrepreneurs who are tenants or partners of shopping centres, individuals of various professions, and those in the agricultural and tourism sectors, with an aim to help all parties to survive the crisis together. The association has already provided support measures worth over 200 billion baht." 

Ms. Wallaya Chirathivat, former TSCA president of two terms (2014-2018) and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Central Pattana plc., said, “Shopping centres and retail businesses have been directly affected as entrepreneurs are unable to generate incomes while there are expenses from managing and operating the businesses under strict public health measures. To tackle the problems, TSCA would like to suggest the government to launch four urgent measures.” 

These are:

  1. Alleviate the burdens on the shopping centres caused by expenses from helping other businesses and retaining employment, which the government can do by allowing the shopping centres to deduct tax equal to twice the wages paid to employees and twice the rental discounts given to tenants.
  2. Stimulate continuous investments in assets, buildings, machinery, equipment and maintenance by continuing last year’s measure to allow tax deduction equal to twice the value of any asset over one year old.
  3. Rehabilitate businesses that were forced to close temporarily by the government orders and allow businesses with over 70% of their employees vaccinated to open.
  4. Reduce other expenses, such as extending the 90% land and building tax cut for another year, reducing electricity fees by 50%, exempting the sign tax and waiving rents of government lands.

In addition, as the shopping centres need to fully understand all aspects and the necessity of government measures in order to provide the best support to tenants, the government should clearly define its plan to handle the situation into phases in which certain businesses will be allowed to open or required to close. This will help businesses prepare in advance and reduce impacts from sudden changes of government orders.

In determining the phases, the government should employ clear indicators, such as number of new infection cases, percentage of fully-vaccinated people among the population, and capacity of hospitals and medical personnel. The government should also decide which businesses will be allowed to open in which phases and under which conditions, while defining zones based on safety. This will boost morale of entrepreneurs and help them prepare and plan ahead for their businesses in regard to the phase and location.

Membership of the Thai Shopping Centre Association comprises 13 companies, as follows: Central Pattana PCL, The Mall Group Co., Ltd., Seacon Development PCL, Rangsit Plaza Co., Ltd., Siam Piwat Co., Ltd., MBK PCL, Siam Future Development PCL (President), The Platinum Group PCL, The KE Group Co.,Ltd., Pacific Park Sriracha Co.,Ltd., Index living mall PLC, Frasers Property Holdings (Thailand) Co. Ltd., Piriya Property Development Co.,Ltd.

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