Thailand: Finance Ministry tasked with protecting Thai economy amid slower growth

  • Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana has instructed his ministry to seek measures to cushion the economy against global volatility.
  • The ministry first needs to evaluate the possibility that the global economic downturn will spill over into the Thai economy and then determine measures to alleviate the effects.
  • The revised 2020 budget deficit of THB469bn should be sufficient to provide buffers against fluctuation, he said.
  • The ministry will prioritise accelerating public and state enterprise investment to stimulate the country’s economy. The ministry has also discussed potential monetary policy measures with the Bank of Thailand.
  • With the economy flagging, the private sector has asked the new government to prioritise issuing stimulus measures.
  • Mr Uttama said he has also told each department in the ministry to specify what it will do over the next three months to support their respective ministries.
  • Mr Uttama also pointed that he wants the ministry to harness big data to apply information at hand, revamp the taxation system to create fairness for all parties, improve tax collection efficiency and impose new taxes, such as a levy for e-commerce businesses.

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