Govt to mull more stimuli for New Year
Tax rebates, fee cuts to boost spending
The Finance Ministry will on Tuesday submit to the cabinet for consideration a series of economic stimulus packages to boost consumer spending during the New Year period, a ministry source said.
Among the measures slated for consideration on Tuesday is the "Shop Dee Mee Khuen" tax rebate scheme, under which consumers can claim up to 30,000 baht in taxes for goods and services purchased between Jan 1 and Feb 15 next year, and a further 10,000 baht in taxes on electronic goods within the same period.
The scheme is expected to inject 56 billion baht into the economy, though the Revenue Department will lose about 8.2 billion baht in tax income.
It will exclude certain goods and services, such as alcoholic drinks, tobacco, automobiles, hotel accommodation, insurance payments, water, electricity and telephone expenses.
According to the source, the cabinet will also decide whether or not to maintain the excise tax on jet fuel at just 0.2 baht a litre, to keep travel costs down and support the travel and tourism sector. The policy is set to expire on Dec 31.
The Finance Ministry is also considering reducing property transfer and mortgage fees for another year, said the source.
The current measure, which cuts the property transfer fee from 2% to 0.01% of the appraised price and the mortgage fee to 0.01% from 1% of the loan value, is also scheduled to expire on Dec 31.
In other news, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday told a delegation from the US-Asean Business Council (USABC) that the Thai economy will grow 2.7%-3.2% this year.
While receiving the delegation led by US Ambassador Robert Godec and USABC president Ted Osius, at Government House, he said the government is ready to cooperate with US firms in promoting balanced and comprehensive economic growth.
He said the government would support the business sector, particularly SMEs, to make use of technologies and innovations to help elevate the country's profile as an investment hub.
Gen Prayut also recognised the USABC's and the US firms' partnership and contributions to economic development in Thailand and hoped that both countries would further deepen cooperation in trade and investments.
The delegation, which comprised representatives from 43 US firms in six core industries, expressed interest in exploring investment opportunities in the country.
He said the visit was to celebrate the 190th anniversary of US-Thai diplomatic relations next year and also congratulated Gen Prayut on the success of the Apec summit.
The US ambassador told the prime minister that the US, which will host next year's Apec summit, will further strengthen cooperation with Thailand.