Prayut orders stimulus rejig

Prayut orders stimulus rejig

Shopping areas in Siam Square are quiet on Tuesday due to the Bangkok lockdown. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Shopping areas in Siam Square are quiet on Tuesday due to the Bangkok lockdown. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered responsible state agencies to re-evaluate existing consumption stimulus packages, particularly the "Ying Chai Ying Dai" (the more you spend, the more you get) e-voucher cashback scheme, which has attracted fewer participants than expected.

Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said Gen Prayut issued the order at a meeting of the Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) on Thursday to consider the possibility of reinstating the "Shop Dee Mee Khuen" scheme that offers a tax deduction for individual taxpayers of up to 30,000 baht when purchasing goods or services.

The government used the scheme to promote domestic shopping between Oct 23 and Dec 31, 2020.

Gen Prayut said the Sho Dee Mee Khuen scheme should be reinstated if the measure can be made more effective at stimulating spending among people with high purchasing power.

According to Mr Anucha, at a meeting between the premier and 40 business leaders on Wednesday, the private sector proposed the government reintroduce a tax rebate scheme, with tax deduction raised to 100,000 baht to make the scheme more enticing.

The group said a tax rebate scheme similar to the Shop Dee Mee Khuen is more convenient and effective than an e-voucher system because buyers know immediately their eligible tax deduction.

The Finance Ministry opened registration for the Ying Chai Ying Dai scheme on June 21. The government expects full participation of 4 million people.

Participants receive vouchers in their Pao Tang e-wallets at a rate of 10-15% of spending, with a maximum limit of 7,000 baht per person. The e-voucher caps the amount it uses to calculate the cashback received at 5,000 baht daily, regardless of the daily amount spent.

As of July 14, only 453,864 people registered for the scheme. Given the low level, the cabinet on Tuesday cut the budget for the scheme to 9.8 billion baht from 28 billion and raised the cashback to 10,000 baht from 5,000.

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