The Excise Department has indicated that it has no plans to increase taxes on alcoholic beverages and energy drinks.
Department Spokesperson Nutthakorn Utensute also dismissed reports that energy drink manufacturers will raise prices by 20-30 baht per dozen.
According to the spokesperson, Osotspa Public Company Limited, a local energy drink giant, will maintain the price of its products at 10 baht per bottle. However, the firm is expected to launch a new product line that costs slightly more at 12 baht per bottle.
Nuttakorn noted that other major manufacturers have also dispelled price hike rumors.
He nevertheless urged retailers to refrain from raising prices, while encouraging members of the public to call the department’s hotline 1713 to report any unfair price hikes.
Nutthakorn added that the department will dispatch officials to conduct random inspections of alcoholic and energy prices from March 14-17. He stressed that vendors need to formally petition authorities about any price changes.
He also said that if retail prices are 5% higher than those recommended by manufacturers, the department will summon manufacturers to reevaluate tax values.
Alcohol and tobacco taxation enable Thailand to generate revenue, relieve the burden on health and society for sustainable development and reduce the emergence of new smokers and drinkers, Thai Health Promotion Foundation manager Dr Supreeda Adulyanon said.
He said liquor and tobacco are obstructing the country from achieving 13 targets under the UN-mandated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He pointed out that about 50,000 people die each year due to excessive alcohol intake, resulting in economic and social losses of more than US$2.5 billion (THB80.7 billion).