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Red Alert! Thailand’s Government to Slash Diesel Tax and Freeze Debt Payments to Supercharge Economy! Uncover the Striking Measures!

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In a forthcoming cabinet meeting, the government is set to declare a host of strategies aimed at alleviating cost of living pressures and giving a lift to the economy. Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat unveiled that these procedures would incorporate alterations to diesel and electricity prices. One of the proposals being examined is a cutback in diesel excise tax, a move that could decrease retail costs at fuel stations, thereby providing a timely boost to the economy.

In addition, discussions are ongoing about a likely suspension of government debt remittances to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). Such a move could ease the pressure on EGAT, which has been heavily subsidising household electricity tariffs since September 2021. The subsidy is a significant financial outgoing, known to cost roughly around 135 billion baht.

The Pheu Thai Party has put forth its own plan to bolster the economy via a distribution of 10,000 baht in digital currency. Kitti Limsakul, the acting deputy leader and a policy committee member of the party, spoke regarding this proposal. He clarified that this digital cash injection would be split across two or three instalments, as opposed to a one-off payment. He countered any critical voices that questioned the viability of this move, asserting its complete alignment with the Bank of Thailand’s regulations and its full feasibility. He went on to explain that this digital currency operates as a token that can be exchanged for baht notes under the law governing digital assets and development of economy and society.

As per Kitti, the first cash outlay, estimated to be around 2500 baht, would be handed out ahead of public holidays such as Songkran. Following this, the effects on the economy would be gauged. If the results were promising, then a secondary package worth 2500 baht would be issued. The final payout of 5000 baht would ultimately aim to bolster the nation’s yearly GDP growth by about 5%. Vendors in receipt of payments in digital currency would be required to pay income taxes on these transactions. However, it should be noted that there is an apparent contradiction between this phased plan and a statement on Pheu Thai’s Facebook page which advocates for a one-time transfer of 10,000 baht. The aforementioned plan was spoken of as an individual’s viewpoint, rather than party policy.

In the meantime, Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit is devising an alternative plan to stimulate the economy, centred around standardising electric rail fares across Bangkok at a uniform rate of 20 baht per journey. This would necessitate an annual subsidy of about 5.44 billion baht from the government. There are also ambitious plans under Suriya to enhance the capacity of regional airports such as Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, and Phuket, in a bid to buoy up the aviation industry and tourism sector.

With the support of various councils, the government is fast-tracking the creation of its policy statement, set to be tabled on September 11 in parliament. Key areas of focus for these new strategies include stimulating economic growth, reviving the tourism industry, and addressing household debts. To keep up with the latest on these developments and more, follow our new Facebook page by clicking HERE.

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