Thailand: Cabinet approves THB6.34bn for nationwide upgrades

  • The cabinet on 20 Feb 18 approved a combined THB6.34bn for projects to facilitate the ease of doing business and upgrade the country’s competitiveness.
  • Nathporn Chatusripitak, a spokesman for Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, said of the total, THB3.29bn will be set aside for the Science and Technology Ministry, THB2.25bn for the Digital Economy and Society Ministry and THB800mn for the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission (OPDC). Most of the spending stems from the leftover budget for fiscal 2017.
  • Mr Nathporn said the THB3.29bn allocated to the Science and Technology Ministry will finance 10 projects that strengthen Thai competitiveness, including the biobank establishment, innovation for Thai herbs, R&D for medical equipment, the upgrade of the One Tambon One Product programme in 10 low-income provinces and a scheme to support science and technology education.
  • For the Digital Economy and Society Ministry, THB598mn will go toward expanding broadband internet to 3,169 schools in remote areas; THB788mn is earmarked for developing smart cities in the government’s flagship Eastern Economic Corridor project; THB414mn will go to developing ecosystems for digital start-ups; THB236mn is for developing an online platform to support STEM education; and THB217mn has been set aside to establish an Internet of Things institute.
  • Mr Nathporn said the THB800mn budget slated for the OPDC will come from the World Bank’s Structural Adjustment Loans programme. Three OPDC projects to upgrade efficiency of state agencies and facilitate the ease of doing business will be financed. The three projects will be implemented over 2018-2020.
  • In a related development, Mr Nathporn said the cabinet on 20 Feb 18 approved ministerial regulations to govern e-commerce entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs who have sales volume via e-commerce of less than THB1.8mn a year will be exempted from registering as direct sales operators that are supervised by the Office of Consumer Protection Board (OCPB), as required by the Direct Sales and Direct Marketing Act 2017.

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