However, the committee recommended yesterday that the government should accept other proposals from the automotive industry, or a large number of workers could lose their jobs.
"We think the government should help the automotive industry urgently in the overall picture. However, we disagree with an excise-tax deduction for a particular industry, as it may affect other industries unfairly," said Thai Chamber of Commerce chairman Pramon Sutivong.
"More importantly, the
government should make a decision on whether it will approve the idea as soon as possible, because buyers have suspended their purchases in order to wait for more tax incentives," he said.
Last month, auto-makers proposed four measures to Industry Minister Charnchai Chairungrueng. These concerned a purchasing-stimulus package, workforce support, productivity improvement and overall enhancement of the industry's competitiveness.
To stimulate purchasing, auto-makers called on the
government to lower the ex-cise rate by 3 percentage points for all types of vehicles, provide an income-tax allowance of Bt50,000 per unit, and negotiate with banks to maintain low interest rates for car buyers.
Pramon said the government should focus on supporting loans with low interest rates, which would help restore buyers' confidence and boost domestic sales.
Santi Vilassakdanont, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, said the JCCIB would propose that the government purchase 4,000 natural-gas buses for the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority in order to help local auto-parts makers, who are facing tough times following a drop of 30-40 per cent in automotive sales.
The JCCIB will submit all its proposals to the economic Cabinet tomorrow, he said.