Tax chief says new govt may not be set up in time to extend diesel tax cut
The chief of the Excise Department said on Sunday that the next government may not take office in time to decide whether or not to extend the diesel-fuel tax cut.
The tax cut of five baht per litre expires on July 20.
Ekniti Nitithanprapas, director general of the Excise Department, said on Sunday that he had yet to discuss the dilemma with outgoing Energy Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.
On March 14, the Cabinet of outgoing Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha extended by two months an excise tax cut on diesel till July 20 to prevent the retail price from rising so rapidly it would slow the economic recovery from the pandemic and raise the cost of living.
It was the seventh successive tax cut on diesel fuel.
The five baht per litre tax cut was projected to cause a loss in revenue of 20 billion baht – about 10 billion baht per month – during the two months.
“This issue should be decided by the new government, but if the government is not set up before the tax cut expires we will have to consider what to do,” Ekniti told the Thai-language news outlet Thansettakij, a member of Nation Group.
“I’ve not talked to the energy minister and I have not informed him yet that we will not extend the measure,” he added.
If the caretaker government wants to extend the cut, it will have to seek permission from the Election Commission first, Ekniti said.
Unconfirmed reports say the Energy Ministry has been informed by the Finance Ministry that it will not extend the tax cut because it will lower revenues collected by the Excise Department.
The department has lost about 158 billion baht in revenue from diesel-fuel taxes during the period of the seven successive tax cuts, officials say.