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Thai Military Installed Cabinet Extends VAT Reduction for Another Year



Military junta chief and Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha holds cabinet meeting in Bangkok.

BANGKOK – The Cabinet has approved a one-year extension to the value-added tax (VAT) reduction policy, keeping the VAT rate at 7 percent until September next year.

Following the weekly Cabinet meeting, Vice Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Kobsak Pootrakool revealed that a green light has been given to the Finance Ministry’s proposal to continue the VAT rate cut from 10 percent to 7 percent as stipulated in the draft royal decree issued under the Revenue Code on VAT Reduction.

As a result, the deadline of the VAT reduction measure has been put off from September 30 this year to September 30, 2018.

The decision was made after the Finance Ministry studied the concept of restoring the VAT rate at 10 percent and discovered its tendency to impede the Thai economic recovery. To avert an impact on the people, the ministry saw fit to maintain the 7 percent VAT for one more year although it would cause the government to lose over 232 billion baht worth of revenue.

Meanwhile, the weekly Cabinet meeting has approved the appointment of a number of new senior government officials.

Spokesman of the Prime Minister’s Office, Lt. Gen. Sunsern Kaewkumnerd, said on Tuesday that the Cabinet had just approved the selection of 120 members of 11 national reform committees while there are 45 more to be appointed.

Lt. Gen. Sunsern said that under the law on the plans and the process to reform the country, each committee must comprise no more than 15 members, or a total of 165 committee members.

He added that all appointed committee members will now have to convene meetings to draft their respective reform plans, which will later be combined into a national reform plan.

He expects the national plan to be ready within eight months or around April 2018.

By Surapan Laotharanarit and Kitti Cheevasittiyanon – NNT

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