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The National Reform Steering Assembly on Monday approved by 153 votes against two a proposal of its panel on health and environment affairs to increase taxes for non-alcoholic drinks with high content of sugar.
Under the proposal which is to be submitted to the cabinet for endorsement, there will be two tax rates: 20 percent tax for drinks which contain 6-10 grammes of sugar per 100 millilitre and 25 percent for drinks with over 10 grammes of sugar per 100 millilitre.
The proposed tax increase is aimed to cut Thai people’s consumption of sweetened drinks such as green tea, instant coffee, energy drinks, soybean milk and soft drinks.
Statistics show that Thais rank No 9 in the world as sugar consumers which put them at risk of being afflicted with obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart diseases.
According to the NRSA, almost all the non-alcoholic drinks available in the market have sugar content exceeding 6 grammes/100 millilitre. The proposed tax increase will earn the state an extra of 10 billion baht in taxes.