Published on : Sunday, November 26, 2017
Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Mr. Somkid Jatusripitak has instructed the Finance Ministry to consider providing a tax deduction for tourism operators in secondary provinces or those that bring tourists to these provinces. He said that tourism helps improve people’s incomes in local communities. The country’s economy is all favorable and the rural economy needs to be reformed.
Although economic recovery is gaining speed, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and low-income earners are still struggling and the government wants to help them, he said. To quote Mr. Somkid, “Now is a good time for us to shift focus to poverty reform. From now on, we will prioritise local development with all agencies. I believe in the power of state enterprises and I ensure they will be used to gradually decrease poverty.”
Setting an example he said that the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand’s Mae Moh project in Lampang province can use its engineers there for training local people in job skills, while jointly developing Lampang as a tourist destination. Around 8-10 million tourists visit Chiang Mai province eevry year, and income in Lampang would go up significantly if just 2-3 million of them took a side trip there, Mr. Somkid said.
Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said that the Finance Ministry next year will offer tax breaks on tourism expenses in secondary provinces to help develop them. Mr Somkid also said that the Thai government is also thinking about creating “smart cities”, following the footsteps of Singapore.
Smart utilities will connect information among utility-related state enterprises to facilitate bill payment and repair notification at a single point. The State Enterprise Policy Office recently said it would offer big data on three platforms: SME Intelligence, Smart Utility and Travel Port.