The Thai Restaurant Association urged the Prime Minister to allow a full restaurant opening, including extending the opening hours until midnight and fully allowing dine-in, in four highly strict and controlled areas, namely Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, and Samut Prakan.
Thaniwan Kulmongkol, president of the Thai Restaurant Association, stated yesterday, June 15th that the Association had submitted a letter to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O’Cha, as director of the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), to request the relief of restaurant control measures and the financial remedies, including:
- Extending the period of dining in all restaurants until 11:00 PM. and closing the restaurants at 12:00 AM. in four highly strict and controlled areas, namely Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, and Samut Prakan
- Increase the number of seats to be allowed in the restaurants in 50 percent of the total restaurant seats and in 80 percent for SHA-certified restaurants, recognized by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Restaurants with the highest SHA standard measures should be allowed to sell liquor or alcoholic beverages in the restaurants because most of the behavior of customers would sit and drink in a limited time, approximately 2 hours on average.
Moreover, the Thai Restaurant Association had also proposed urgent financial remedies as many restaurants in the provinces are shutting down in the past 40 days of the implementation. Without urgent assistance, it is estimated that another 50,000 restaurants will have to close in the next two to six months, causing problems in job layoffs. A ban on drinking alcoholic beverages in restaurants is also one of the main reasons that caused a significant loss of income.
The financial remedies include:
- Establish a joint committee, consisting of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), Ministry of Finance, Bank of Thailand (BOT), and the Thai Restaurant Association, to consider specific financial aid measures for restaurants as financial measures have currently greatly restricted the access for restaurant operators and restaurants
- Release measures for department store owners and landowners who set up the rental for restaurants to reduce the rent by at least 50 percent for at least 3 months. The landowners and building owners who set up the rental should have the rent discounts used for a tax deduction in the next accounting period to incentivize the subsequent reduction in rent without the government’s compensation
- Refrain from collecting tax in the accounting of the past 1 year period, both corporate and personal income tax for the restaurant business
- Extend the period for collecting VAT for 6 months
- Refrain from collecting house tax from restaurant business owner for 1 year
- Reduce water and electricity bills by 30 percent for restaurant business operators for at least 6 months
- Introduce a measure to pay half the wages by allowing employees to withdraw the other half from social security or other related government remedies for at least 6 months
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