The cabinet on Monday approved a tax refund scheme for shopping to stimulate domestic spending early next year and promote wider use of electronic invoices, according to the Finance Ministry.
Pornchai Thiraveja, the ministry's spokesman and chief of the Fiscal Policy Office, said under the "Easy E-Receipt" programme, individuals can receive a tax deduction of up to 50,000 baht for purchases of goods and services from business operators backed by the e-tax system between Jan 1 and Feb 15 next year.
Excluded from the tax rebates are purchases of alcoholic drinks, tobacco, cars, motorcycles, boats, vehicle fuel, public utilities, tap water, electricity, phone, internet services, long-term service fees and non-life insurance, he said.
Mr Pornchai said the tax refund scheme aims to boost the national economy and encourage business operators to join the tax system and the e-tax system, adding operators can visit the Revenue Department website to learn how to apply for electronic invoices and receipts.
The tax refund programme is part of the government's economic stimulus measures announced by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin early last month. Known at that time as e-refund, it would be introduced for those who do not meet the criteria for the digital wallet scheme.
After the cabinet meeting in Nong Bua Lamphu province, Mr Srettha said the government gathered first-hand information to formulate policy to effectively address people's needs. The issues that were brought to attention included land problems, tourism promotion and illegal drugs, he noted.
The prime minister said he instructed the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Tourism Ministry to study the potential of Nong Bua Lam Phu and four other provinces for development as tourism sites.
Mr Srettha complimented Otop products being showcased for the cabinet ministers, saying they were of high quality and should be further promoted for broader distribution.
He said the transport minister offered to develop part of Bang Sue Central Station as a shopping mall, which should help distribute these Otop products. As for online distribution, he said he told the Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry to develop a platform with the Commerce Ministry for distribution channels.
As part of the government's efforts to raise the income of people in Nong Bua Lam Phu, he said the government plans to develop 92 weirs to address flood and drought while the landless problems would be addressed by the government's policy to convert Sor Por Kor land documents to the land title deeds.
Connectivity is also a pressing issue to be dealt with, he said.
Mr Srettha added that the absence of a comprehensive transportation network is hampering the province's growth and development.
Government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said the prime minister chose the province for the first mobile cabinet meeting because it has low income per head and low tourism revenue.
This northeastern province has also suffered a severe drought, with only 110,000 rai out of 1.9 million rai of farmland covered by the irrigation system. A plan to improve the irrigation system is estimated to cost 1 billion baht.
Mr Chai said the cabinet plans to raise the province's GDP through tourism and agriculture development. The province has a number of natural tourist attractions and local products that the government intends to support to boost people's income.
He said the Ministry of Agriculture will publish in the Royal Gazette on Dec 15 the government's plan to allow farmers to convert their Sor Por Kor 4-01 papers into land title deeds.