MANUFACTURERS and vendors of electronics and electrical appliances have expressed strong opposition to a draft bill on the disposal of waste gear, citing the high costs they would face.
Supant Mongkolsuthree, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, said yesterday that manufacturers, importer and vendors of electronic goods had raised concerns over the new law.
The Cabinet had approved a draft law requiring that funding be allocated to disposal, Supant said, but the Council of State, a government legal advisory body, eliminated the clause.
He said the State Council felt such a fund would unnecessarily add to the government’s financial burden, already swelling due to rapid growth in spending and slow growth in tax revenues.
The State Council wants the private sector to take full responsibility for recycling phones, computers, air conditioners, TV sets and refrigerators.
The manufacturers and vendors say that, without the support fund, waste management would be disorganised and their production costs would be higher.
The draft law is currently awaiting debate before the National Legislative Assembly.
Supant said other countries have funds to manage electronic waste and recycling the products was part of Thailand’s growing “circular economy”, which the government should be encouraging.
Private companies have suggested that the draft law let them to set up their own waste-management funds, he said.
Some Thailand-based manufacturers adhere to international standards by producing items entirely out of recyclable components, Supant noted. But they too are concerned about the draft law because it threatens violators with jail terms and fines topping Bt100,000.
He said companies supported the original draft because they share concerns about the environment, but they oppose the revised law.
They are also willing to work with local governments to ensure environmental integrity, he said.
Since electronic goods are Thailand’s largest export, they government should heed the industry’s concerns, he said. The FTI is forwarding their complaints to the Legislative Assembly.
The government is also planning a master law to regulate all kinds of waste treatment.
With many communities complaining about pollution, it recently accelerated a crackdown on factories that illegally recycle imported waste.
In other developments, Predee Daochai, chairman of the Thai Bankers Association, said human error, not system error, caused the recent online banking crash.
He said it was a rare incident and mobile banking is safe. He said further details would be made public tomorrow.