Cabinet approves additional economic stimulus measures


The Cabinet today gave a green light to another round of stimulus measures to spur Thailand’s economic growth, with emphases on giving tax breaks to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), home developers and buyers and to promote domestic tourism.

Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij disclosed that the new measures, which have been aimed at stimulating the country’s economy in the midst of global economic downturn, will however cost the government an approximate of 40 billion baht in revenue annually.

The measures for the SMEs, the finance minister said, the Cabinet has decided to increase the income tax deductible amount from 60,000 baht to one million baht as the measure is expected to cover some 97,000 SME operators while cost the government about 1.4 billion baht of revenue.

Similar tax measure has also been offered to some 58,000 community enterprises throughout the kingdom as the income tax deductibility will be increased from 1.2 million baht of earnings to 1.8 million baht a year during this year and next year. The government is expected to lose about 200 million baht of revenue.

In the property sector, he said, the buyers of new homes who have the ownership rights transferred within this year will be eligible for income tax deductibility of up to 300,000 baht in addition to the maximum of 100,000 baht of loan interest payment a year. Since there are about 100,000 home units expected to be sold this year, the government is expected to lose about 30 billion baht from transfer of new home ownership fee and another 6.5 billion baht from personal income tax.

As an assistance to tourism-related businesses, the private firms holding seminar or training for their staff within the country by the end of 2009 fiscal year will be allowed to deduct as much as twice of the expenses incurred from such activities for tax payment calculation. The government is projected to lose about 1.8 billion baht in revenue from tax collection.

Other measures include tax exemption to be offered to creditors and debtors in any debt restructuring within this year and the sellers and buyers who completely transfer the related properties within this year.