PM readying 'NY gifts' to boost spending
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday confirmed which "New Year gifts", including shopping and tourism stimulus schemes, would be submitted to the cabinet after he returns from an official trip to Europe in Brussels next week.
The gifts in question are expected to include the revival of the "Shop Dee Mee Kuen" (shop and payback scheme) tax incentive for shoppers and the reintroduced "Rao Tiew Duay Kan" (We Travel Together) tourism promotion programme.
The proposals will be submitted for approval after Gen Prayut returns from celebrating the 45th anniversary of the European Union-Asean dialogue being held in Brussels, Belgium, from Dec 12-15.
"Each agency is thoroughly reviewing all of the proposals. The review needs to be made carefully to avoid future complications. It isn't politically motivated," Gen Prayut said, rebutting criticism the measures might be designed to augment the government's popularity ahead of the next elections.
Gen Prayut said the stimulus measures have been vetted to prevent overspending and make sure they stay within budget.
Meanwhile, Education Minister Trinuch Thienthong said the ministry has proposed its own list of "gifts" including short-term occupation training by the Office of the Non-Formal and Informal Education.
The government has been continually rolling out measures such as increasing lunch subsidies for students, as well as helping with teachers' debts nationwide.
Atthaphon Sangkhawasee, the permanent secretary for education, said the ministry is preparing a New Year gift of its own on Dec 26 when it will provide compensation to the families of educational personnel who were killed and those affected by unrest in the far southern province of Pattani, valued at 85 million baht.
The Office of the Education Ministry's Permanent Secretary also plans to organise a financial aid fair for teachers at the Impact Muang Thong Thani in Nonthaburi from Jan 17-19.
Financial institutions will attend the event to help reconcile and tackle teachers' debt, he said.