The prime minister reiterates that the government will not increase the value-added tax in order to finance the state welfare policies. He also emphasizes that this administration is competent in dealing with the country’s economy. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva affirmed that it is not necessary for the government to raise the value-added tax, or VAT, to ten percent from the current seven percent in order to fund the state welfare policies.
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PM Rules ouf VAT Increase
Sectors linked to external demand (namely, manufacturing, hotels and transport) have been the main contributors to growth since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, and have also determined the dynamics of the economy in 2008-09. These sectors have accounted for almost all of the annual changes in real GDP.
Overall, domestic demand should provide a positive but limited contribution to growth: vulnerable households lost ground in 2009 and risks are substantial in 2010, as falling agricultural output due to the current drought may offset opportunities from the improved overall economic environment. Household consumption levels, which are highly correlated with the poverty rate, contracted in 2009 despite the rebound in the last quarter of the year, suggesting a likely increase in the poverty rate compared to 2008, especially when compounded by the loss in purchasing power from the food and fuel crisis of 2008. The outlook for 2010 is uncertain : average wages are likely to increase, thanks to the reallocation of labor from agriculture to manufacturing. Although labor markets appear very tight, with unemployment below 1 %, the data do not account for the large number of workers who moved to lower-productivity jobs in agriculture and informal services due to the crisis. Many of these workers are now returning to manufacturing, which offers higher wages than agriculture.
Chinese investment funds, Middle Eastern petrodollars — there is a huge amount of new money being channeled into the Asian capital markets.
But another factor is likely the presence of larger, institutional investors in large-cap stocks who are more concerned about long-term performance than short-term market movements.
In 1972 the Government took a further step in this direction by amending the “Announcement of the Executive Council No. 58 on the Control of Commercial Undertakings Affecting Public Safety and Welfare”. The changes extended Government control and regulation over the operations of finance and securities companies, which until then had operated fairly freely. Following these amendments, in May 1974, long-awaited legislation establishing “The Securities Exchange of Thailand” (SET) was enacted. This was followed by revisions to the Revenue Code at the end of the year, allowing the investment of savings in the capital market. By 1975 the basic legislative framework was in place and on April 30, 1975, “The Securities Exchange of Thailand” officially started trading. On January 1, 1991 its name was formally changed to “The Stock Exchange of Thailand” (SET).