Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said that the Government is making efforts to cope with impacts from volatility in global financial markets.
Speaking after the weekly Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister revealed that the meeting had discussed concerns over the European debt crisis, which was leading to tumbling Asian markets.
She urged the people to remain confident in the sound foundation of the Thai economy, saying that impacts from volatility in the world economy might have panicked local investors. However, she said, all relevant agencies had been instructed to urgently restore confidence among investors.
The Prime Minister called on members of the media to help boost confidence in the Thai economy. As for the Government, she said that emphasis would be placed on generating more household income and strengthening the domestic economy.
Regarding a call by the private sector for the Government to review its populist policies, Prime Minister Yingluck said that all policies implemented by the Government were aimed at stimulating the country’s economy.
Moreover, the Government will accelerate infrastructure investment in order to generate employment. At the same time, it has still maintained fiscal discipline, putting in place an efficient fiscal risk management system.
Commenting on the European debt crisis, Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said that the problem had continued some time and the Europeans would have to solve their problem. Thailand and other Asian countries have adjusted to the situation, so they felt only slight impacts.
Mr. Kittiratt stated that Thailand should focus on its local economy and not heavily rely on exports. Europe is one of Thailand’s major markets. To cushion impacts, Thailand should pay greater attention to export diversification in order to lessen the degree of export dependence on traditional markets.
Meanwhile, Governor of the Bank of Thailand Prasarn Trairatvorakul said that the Bank of Thailand was closely monitoring the volatility in the global financial markets. The recent sell-off by foreign investors in the Thai stock market was not worrisome, when compared with the flow-in capital. The Bank of Thailand was ready to cope with the situation, if the sell-off led to volatility in the baht. He believed that the sell-off would be in a short term because of worries about the euro-zone debt crisis.
Mr. Prasarn said that the Bangkok of Thailand is prepared to allow Thai investors to take more money out of the country in order to invest overseas. It will also conduct a study on a master plan concerning capital mobility to cope with flow-in capital in the long run and to prevent it from putting pressure on the baht and asset prices in Thailand.
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50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension
BANGKOK (NNT) – The government’s 50:50 co-pay campaign expiring on 31st March may not be getting an immediate campaign extension. The Minister of Finance says campaign evaluation is needed to improve future campaigns.
The Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith today announced the government may not be able to reach a conclusion on the extension of the 50:50 co-pay campaign in time for the current 31st March campaign end date, as evaluations are needed to better improve the campaign.
Originally introduced last year, the 50:50 campaign is a financial aid campaign for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the government subsidizes up to half the price of purchases at participating stores, with a daily cap on the subsidy amount of 150 baht, and a 3,500 baht per person subsidy limit over the entire campaign.
The campaign has already been extended once, with the current end date set for 31st March.
The Finance Minister said that payout campaigns for the general public are still valid in this period, allowing time for the 50:50 campaign to be assessed, and to address reports of fraud at some participating stores.
The Fiscal Police Office Director General and the Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Kulaya Tantitemit, said today that a bigger quota could be offered in Phase 3 of the 50:50 campaign beyond the 15 million people enrolled in the first two phases, while existing participants will need to confirm their identity if they want to participate in Phase 3, without the need to fill out the registration form.
Mrs Kulaya said the campaign will still be funded by emergency loan credit allocated for pandemic compensation, which still has about 200 billion baht available as of today.
Customs Department Considers Measures to Help SMEs
BANGKOK (NNT) – The Customs Department is seeking ways to reduce the impact of the exemption on import tax and value-added tax (VAT) for imported goods worth up to 1,500 baht, as such measures are hurting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
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