In 2020, COVID has an impact to present loss of Retail business 500,000 million baht. Which is expected that in the first quarter of 2021. The retail index is still 7-8% negative. Requesting the government to continuously and urgently stimulate the economy. To reduce the unemployment rate and increase the new employment rate.
Proposed to government a trial scheme toincrease immediate employment options by applying “Flexible Hourly” wages which will help vast untapped jobless workers. Taxed the imported E-Commerce sellters and control E-Commerce platform not to allow sellers set a dumped cost price. In order to promote fair playground and not to have a negative impact on the Thai SME and the Thai retail system as a whole.
Mr. YOL Phokasub, President of the Thai Retailers Association, said that Thai retail business is the cornerstone of the country’s entire economy as it is a comprehensive system from upstream, midstream and downstream with all retail chain operators. In the system of 1.3 million and over 6.2 million direct jobs are created when retail is impacted. Due to the prevailing COVID situation As a result, the 2020 Thai Retailers Association retail index fell from 2019 from 2.8% to -12.0%, the first time to double-digit negative. (According to the retail index table Thai Retailers Association 2020 (attached), thus causing widespread damages. The unemployment rate rose, income decreased, public debt increased, SME gradually closed down, purchasing power shrank. It is therefore necessary to accelerate the remedy in the retail system as soon as possible.
Propose 5 vaccinated measures to help restore the Thai economy By focusing on real, continuous and immediate action
- The government experimented with an alternative to the hourly wage rate. To reduce the unemployment rate and increasing new employment in the merchandise and service retail sectors. With regular employment will remain the same but increase the extra employment on an hourly basis, to be an alternative and correspond to the actual services during the on/off day to match the numbers of customers at the highest efficiency of customer services. The merchandising and services retail sector is expected to be able to employ at least 52,000 immediate hourly jobs and increase to 200,000 in the long term.
- The government sector should assist SMEs by providing soft loans through retail platforms. A sandbox scheme initiated among known parties. The government and the Bank of Thailand have jointly issued measures to increase liquidity for SME entrepreneurs and farmers to gain access to loans with special interest rates. The retailers will help to interface between banks and loaners and thus reduce the bank’s bad debt burden as well. This schemewould directly and quickly reach more than 400,000 small-scale SME farmers. With this retail platform, commercial banks will receive timely and complete repayment.
- The government sector has to expedite consideration of VAT and import tax on goods traded through. E-Commerce / E-Marketplace Imported from abroad. From ETDA data value E-Commerce worth 300,000 million baht is considered a large business with continuous growth. But no clear control measures by the authorities. The products are sold at advantage as final price lower than the local cost. There is no import tax measure, and no-VAT collected, which Thai SMEs have to pay the import tax and VAT in full from the first baht. This is considered an unfair competition and will damage the Thai retail system in the long run.
- The government has to find measures to stimulate domestic consumption. It is aimed at groups with medium to high purchasing power of more than 8 million to diversify their money into the Thai economy by reducing tariffs on imported lifestyle products. Due to the COVID-19 crisis That are currently made Can’t travel internationally People with these purchasing power Which is familiar with traveling abroad And shopping for duty free There is still a need to buy products. Brands make purchases through Cross Borders or Gray Market, with the association proposing to stimulate consumption in this group of high purchasing power. Especially imported lifestyle products. Currently, the tariffs on imported lifestyle products in Thailand are as high as 30%, the highest in 15 countries in Asia. Causing people to turn to buying foreign products instead. Therefore proposing a trial for temporary import tax cuts based on product types It is a ladder type, for example, reduced from 30% to 20%, 15% and 10% in order to have a difference in the tax rate and not affect the Thai brands that will be able to generate more than 20,000 million baht per quarter
- The government should consider allowing modern retailers and supermarkets to join the wide subsidy government schemes. Such as State welfare card, etc. This will facilitate the public access to a variety of products fairly. Most of the products regularly purchased by state welfare card holders are consumer goods, such as rice, vegetable oil, sugar, which are produced by a few large manufacturers. Causing the income distribution to not reach other small product manufacturers Opening of the program for modern retailers and supermarkets Which in addition to helping card users It is also a more widespread income distribution to producers, both farmers, communities and SME entrepreneurs.
“The Thai Retailers Association is committed to upgrading and helping retailers and sellers across the country. We are ready to cooperate with the governmentat any level of contributions. To help restore the economy of Thailand to become strong again, I believe that the cooperation of all sectors together will be the driving force for Thailand to get through this critical crisis as fast as possible, ”concluded Mr. Yol Phokasub.