First car' tax refund submissions reach nearly Bt100 bln in value
BANGKOK, Dec 31 - Tax refund submissions in the
government's 'first car' scheme has reached nearly Bt100 billion in
Excise Department Director-General Somchai Poonsawat said the taxes the
government will have to refund to first car owners, at no more than
Bt100,000/car, has so far reached Bt91 billion from about 1.25 million
car owners, as of 4:30pm on December 31, the last day for refund
submissions, but which can be done until midnight if submitted online.
He said about 10 per cent of tax submission have been done through the
internet, while sedans top the type of vehicles for which refunds are
being sought at some 737,000 units, followed by other four-door vehicles
and pick-up trucks.
Mr Somchai said about 5,000 first car owners submitted documents for tax
The Bt91 billion to be rebated is threefold higher than previously
forecast, he noted.
About 47,000 persons have already been granted the refunds at the value
of Bt3.4 billion.
The director-general said the government is expected to use around Bt20
billion to pay back the refunds from the 2013 fiscal year, from the
earlier expected amount of Bt7 billion and Bt18 billion respectively.
Up to Bt35 billion is forecast to be spent for the 'first car' scheme in
the 2014 fiscal year, he said.
Those wishing to submit documents online for refunds can log on through
/ until midnight. (MCOT online news)
Government asserts Bt2 trillion loans
BANGKOK, Dec 28 – The Thai government’s plan to seek Bt2
trillion loans will raise the country’s public debt to 49.9 per
cent in 2016, a level which is manageable, according to the
Chularat Sutheethorn, director of the Public Debt Management
Office (PDMO), said a bill on the Bt2 trillion loans for
infrastructure investment will be proposed by the government to
parliament next year, adding that the amount of loans remain
lower than the required fiscal sustainability level of 60 per
She said the PDMO will start securing loans in the 2014 budget
year if the bill is passed.
Apart from the Bt2 trillion loans, the PDMO will need to seek
additional lending for several other projects in the next seven
years including Bt340 billion for water management. The
government has already acquired Bt10 billion for that purpose.
She said the PDMO plans to issue bonds in international markets
for the Bt340 billion expenditure.
Ms Chularat added that Thailand’s outstanding public debt as of
October this year was Bt4.82 trillion (about US$156 billion) or
43.27 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP). (MCOT online
THAI boosts air, ground services for New Year passenger surge
BANGKOK, Dec 27 – Thai Airways International (THAI) will add 26
domestic and international flights during the New Year’s holiday
to serve 7,000 more passengers, according to a company
THAI President Sorajak Kasemsuvan said more ground staff will be
on duty between December 28 and January 3 to facilitate inbound
and outbound passengers.
It is projected that 19 million passengers will have flown on
the national flag carrier this year, he said, adding that more
staff will be hired next year to cope with increasing passenger
load after THAI promotes its services using the Airbus A380-800
on three routes: Bangkok-Hong Kong, Bangkok-Tokyo (Narita
Airport) and Bangkok-Frankfurt.
Deputy Transport Minister Prin Suwannatat inspected THAI ground
service at Suvarnabhumi airport yesterday to ensure convenience
for passengers during the busy holiday season.
The airline is currently short of ground staff by 30-50 per cent
but management has been instructed to assign sufficient staff
during the New Year, he said. (MCOT online news)
Bids for investment incentives rocket to Bt1 trillion
BANGKOK, Dec 27 – Applications for investment privileges in
Thailand jumped to a historic volume of Bt1 trillion during Jan
1-Dec 20 this year, according to the Industry Ministry.
Industry Minister Prasert Boonchaisuk said most of the 2,180
applied projects involved infrastructure, energy, automotive
spare parts and processed agricultural products.
Foreign investors. especially the Japanese, will continue to
expand their investments next year and applications for
investment privileges should be as high as this year, he said.
The Board of Investment (BoI), chaired by Deputy Prime
Minister/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong, yesterday
approved 32 projects with a total investment of Bt108 billion
Most of the newly-applied projects are related to automotive
spare parts and tyres which have grown rapidly thanks to the
government’s tax exemption for first-car buyers, alternative
energy and air cargo service.
The BoI Board of Directors has approved a new investment
promotion policy which should be implemented in the next 6-7
months after hearings with all related sectors, Mr Prasert said.
The minister said listed companies in the Stock Exchange of
Thailand (SET) and the SET Market for Alternative Investment
have been told to gradually reduce their employment of unskilled
migrant workers in the next two years by laying them off at the
rate of 25 per cent every six months.
Investment privileges in three southern border provinces will be
extended for two years in an attempt to assist investors whose
businesses have been affected by the insurgency, Mr Prasert
BoI Secretary General Udom Wongviwatchai said the measure
requiring Thai employers to lay off migrant workers within two
years was aimed at boosting local employment.
A total of 101 companies in Thailand legally hire about 9,000
migrant workers, mostly in the textile industry. (MCOT online
Government stimulus a blessing to Thailand’s GDP growth
BANGKOK, Dec 27 – Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) this
year is adjusted upward slightly from 5.5 per cent to 5.7 per
cent mainly due to the government stimulus actions in various
projects, according to the Finance Ministry.
Somchai Sujjapongse, director general of the Fiscal Policy
Office, said domestic consumption is its highest in eight years
given the government policy on the Bt300 daily minimum wage, a
salary increase for civil servants, the rice pledging scheme,
tax exemption for first time car buyers and first time
homeowners, and the gradual reduction of corporate income taxes.
He said Thailand’s growing export volume in the last three
months will contribute to an export expansion to 4.5 per cent
from an earlier estimation of 3.9 per cent.
Consumption in the private sector rose by 5.6 per cent from the
original prediction of 3-4 per cent while private investment has
increased from 14.1 per cent to 16.1 per cent.
It was earlier estimated that foreign tourists to Thailand this
year would be 21.7 million people but the latest report showed
22 million visitors and that the inflation rate will be 3 per
cent – a decline from last year in accord with the global trend
of cheaper oil prices and commodities, Mr Somchai said.
The unemployment rate is 0.6 per cent and public debt 43.9 per
cent – lower than the fiscal consolidation of 60 per cent.
He projected next year’s economic growth at 5 per cent thanks to
the reduction of corporate income tax to 20 per cent and
personal income tax and the government’s massive investment .
Palm farmers lack refineries to purchase produce
CHUMPHON, Dec 26 – Palm planters in this southern province,
successful in pressing for government intervention to elevate
the price they receive for palm nuts, are encountering a new
challenge – there are not enough palm oil refineries to buy
Trucks loaded with palm nuts have queued at all refineries in
the province as farmers wait patiently to sell their produce.
The price of palm nuts has increased to Bt4-4.35 per kg thanks
to the government’s partial subsidy following the farmers’
protest against declining prices.
Farmers said they have to wait a few days to sell their palm
nuts to refineries. Those who have no trucks have to sell their
produce to middlemen at less than Bt3 per kg.
Chumphon currently has 45,000 palm planters and nine refineries.
Planting palm nuts is widespread in many southern provinces of
Thailand due to the favourable prices in the last several years
plus government encouragement to expand production of the crop.
New Year spending expected to reach several billion baht, highest in 7 years
BANGKOK, Dec 24 - Thailand's spending during the New
Year period is expected to reach several billions of baht, which will be
the highest amount in seven years, according to the Thai Chamber of
Commerce University's Economic and Business Forecasting Center.
Center director Thanawat Polvichai said a survey on Thais' consumption
behaviour during the festive season recently conducted demonstrated that
spending would reach some Bt105 billion, a 15.6 per cent increase
Factors driving such result include the public's less concern on the US
and EU economies, the government's support on the rice pledging scheme,
the Bt300 minimum wage, and the 'first-time carbuyer' tax refund policy.
However, Dr Thanawat said the public are still careful in spending due
to some worries on the country's economic situation. They would buy the
same amount of goods but with higher value.
Those surveyed said they are planning their expenses on parties (29 per
cent), followed by merit-making, buying consumer goods, luxury
merchandise, durable products, and tourism.
Some 89 per cent of those voting for tourism said they plan to travel in
Thailand with a forecast expense of about Bt49 billion. The rest, some
11 per cent, will travel abroad with expected spending of Bt27 billion.
Some 71 per cent said the Thai economy next year will improve slightly
at 4-5 per cent with internal politics, particularly the referendum
issue, regarded as one of the risk factors.
What the public worries most about during the New Year celebration is
road accidents, traffic, insufficient pubic transport, and higher
consumer goods prices.
When asked which politician they most wished to give a New Year’s
present, some 53 per cent said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra,
followed by opposition Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, and the
outspoken Chuwit Kamolvisit. (MCOT online news)
Thai automotive manufacturers jubilant as car sales break record
BANGKOK, Dec 25 – Thailand made another historic record with
skyrocketing sales of 1.3 million cars in the first 11 months of this
year, an automotive industrialist said today.
Vudhigorn Suriyachantananond, senior vice president of Toyota Motor
Thailand, said the newest record, representing a 74.7 per cent increase
compared to the corresponding period of last year, is broken down into
601,000 sedans or a 79.7 per cent increase, and 690,000 cars for
commercial purposes or a 70.5 per cent increase. Cars for commercial
purposes are mainly pick-up trucks.
The car sales volume in November alone reached 148,000 units,
representing a great leap by 477 per cent – the highest sales volume per
month in history. The sales of sedans (77,700 units) were five times
higher and cars for commercial purposes (70,500 units) were four times
higher than in November last year.
During the Thailand Motor Show in Bangkok early this month, consumers
reserved more than 85,000 sedans and vehicles for commercial purposes.
(MCOT online news)
Govt says B7BN tax system overhaul loss 'Acceptable'
BANGKOK, Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong conceded yesterday
the overhaul of the personal income tax structure would cost the state
seven billion in revenue, but said the loss was acceptable.
Under the revamped tax structure, personal income tax rates, subject to
progressive tax rates, are divided into seven brackets.
Those with a yearly income of 150-thousand baht or less will not be
affected by the change. They remain exempt from income tax.
Those in the second-lowest bracket who earn between 150-thousand baht
and 300-thousand baht will be taxed at 5%. Those who earn between 300
thousand and 1 baht to 500-thousand baht will be taxed at 10% while
those in the 500-thousand and 1 to 750-thousand baht bracket will be
taxed 15%, down from 20%.
Those who earn between 750-thousand and 1 baht to one million baht will
be taxed 20%, the same as the current rate. Those who earn between one
million baht and two million baht will be taxed 25%, down from 30%,
while those who earn between 2,000,001 baht and four million baht will
be taxed 30%.
Those who earn greater than four million baht will be taxed 35%, down
from 37% currently.
Mr Kittiratt said that while high-income earners may not benefit much
from the new table, low income earners will be able to save more.
By RADIO THAILAND & INSIGHT INFO
Thailand enjoys higher economic growth this year
BANGKOK, Dec 25 – Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) this
year will be higher than the original target of 5.5 per cent due
to increasing consumption and investment in the private sector,
according to a senior Finance Ministry official.
Somchai Sujjapongse, director general of the Fiscal Policy
Office, said private consumption reached 5.2 per cent – a
historic record in eight years. The highest consumption growth
in the past was only 3-4 per cent.
With a rocketing result this year, the GDP next year should slow
down to 4-5 per cent, contributing to a more balanced economy
compared to this year, he said.
State investment, increased exports, private consumption and
investment will be the driving factors for the country’s
economic growth, Mr Somchai said.
He said Thailand’s economy will stabilise next year, whether
according to the inflation rate or international reserves, while
financial institutions will be strong this year and next year
thanks to the average Bank of International Settlements (BIS)
ratio at 15 per cent, much higher than the imposed BIS ratio of
8.5 per cent. Commercial banks’ non-performing loans are only 2
per cent and revenue growth is satisfactory, he said.
The improved global economy and Thailand’s increased exports
will partly contribute to a projected 5 per cent economic growth
next year while the core driving factors will be the state’s
massive investment of up to Bt2 trillion (about USD65 billion)
in transport infrastructure and spending on water management
which was delayed this year.
Mr Somchai said at least Bt100 billion (more than $3 billion)
will be injected into the economic system next year now that bid
winners of various state projects have been announced.
He pointed out that several external factors may impact Thailand
and need to be closely monitored, including the global economy,
the Sino-Japanese conflict in the South China Sea, general
elections in Germany and Italy, the United States’ launching of
quantitative easing, or QE3 and QE4, and the strong Japanese
currency which led to money flow into Asia and Thailand. (MCOT
Public Health Ministry launches herbal gift baskets
BANGKOK, 21 December (NNT) - The Ministry of Public Health has
launched eight types of herbal gift baskets for health conscious
consumers for the New Year period.
According to Deputy Public Health Minister Dr Chonlanan Sikaew,
the newly launched gift baskets are not only alcohol-free but
also filled with local herbal products and fruits with
nutritious or therapeutic properties.
Examples of these baskets include the Tri Than Thip gift set
featuring three types of herbal juice, comprising Triphala which
has cancer fighting properties, Malva nut which can cleanse the
intestine and Roselle which can reduce blood pressure.
The Benja Kesorn tea set is packed with pollens from five types
of flower which are Sarapee, Jasmine, Bullet wood, Cobra’s
saffron and Sacred lotus which are cardio-tonic and refreshing.
Other gift sets are fruit baskets, products made of lotus,
products made of nine types of grain, products made of ten types
of spice, books on traditional Thai medicines as well as a set
of five herbal plants.
The eight types of gift baskets can be purchased at all branches
of Chao Praya Apai Phubet shops and numerous department stores.
By RADIO THAILAND & INSIGHT INFO
Thailand's fuel import hits new record high
BANGKOK, 21 December 2012 (NNT) - Thailand has has broken its
fuel import record, as it increased to over one trillion baht
According to Energy Business Department Director-General
Veerapol Jirapraditthakil, the total imports of crude and
refined oils and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in 2012 have
reached 929-thousand barrels per day worth over 1.1-trillion
This figure is the highest in Thailand’s history and surpasses
the 837-thousand barrels per day or 1.03-trillion baht last year
in a sharp increase in demand and rising price of crude oil and
Meanwhile, the use of natural gas vehicles for cars has jumped
20.6 percent to 7.7-million kilograms of daily consumption,
followed by an 11 percent increase in LPG consumption at
605-thousand kilograms monthly.
Mr Veerapol expected that the government will subsidize fuel
consumption at 95.4-billion baht this year, while oil
consumption next year will expand by 4-to-5 percent.
By RADIO THAILAND & INSIGHT INFO