PRIME Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha held a meeting with leaders of all coalition parties on the Progressive Liquor Bill proposed by Move Forward Party with the conclusion being that the government should block its approval by the Lower House, Matichon newspaper said today (Oct. 25).
In June this year the Lower House had approved this bill, which proposes amendments to the Excise Tax Act, in its first reading. It will now be considered in the second and third readings on Nov. 2.
The bill was proposed by Move Forward MP Taopiphop Limjittrakorn, a craft beer brewer who was once arrested for producing this alcoholic drink. It seeks to break the monopoly of corporate brewers and allow small- and medium-scale brewers and entrepreneurs to enter the market.
At today’s meeting, that was also attended by Palang Pracharath Party leader-cum-Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan and Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda, this bill was intensely discussed for 50 minutes before a conclusion was reached that it should not be allowed to sail through the Lower House as it will lead to problems in brewing illegal liquor and poor production.
It was pointed out that big corporate brewers could be held accountable for the quality of their liquor. Moreover, opening the door to smaller brewers with lower capacity and capital would lead to widespread sale of illegal liquor similar to the problems arising from liberal marijuana use policy and it will be difficult to control.
Top: Two people clinking glasses of beer before drinking it. Photo: Matichon
Front Page: A glass of beer. Photo: K. Graham (CC BY-SA 2.0)