The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB), which comprises the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) and the Thai Bankers’ Association (TBA), together with the Thai National Shippers’ Council and the Tourism Council of Thailand, met with Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday to hear about the government’s economic stimulus efforts and voice recommendations.
“The Provincial Joint Public Private Committees are chaired by the governors of each province. They are tasked with talking about the problems in each province, but because of their busy schedules, economic problems are put near the bottom of the agenda when they should be the No 1 priority at each meeting,” said TCC chairman Isara Vongkusolkij, who is also the current JSCCIB chairman.
FTI chairman Supant Mongkolsu three added: “We have found from our members that many Joint Public Private Committees only meet twice a year to talk about their local economies, when they should [be doing this] at least once every two months.”
More representatives needed
Isara said each meeting of the provincial Joint Public Private Committees should also have representatives from educational institutions, academics and the public, besides representatives of local businesses, to propose ways to improve the local economies. These could include promoting local tourism and local products, or providing recommendations and requests to the government via the main Joint Public Private Steering Committee when they meet with the prime minister and the Council of Economic Ministers directly. Supant said the government had approved the reprioritisation proposal and it should be finalised before the JSCCIB meets again next month.
Meanwhile, the JSCCIB praised the government’s support for start-ups via tax privileges and urged it to continue with the effort. The representatives of the private sector also provided tangible ways to support the government’s effort to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises to pay taxes properly via the introduction of the single business account scheme that the Finance Ministry is currently working on.
“This country has 2.7 million SMEs but only around 600,000 are listed in the tax system,” Isara said. “We have to encourage them to enter the system to increase the effectiveness of the government’s SME support measures in the future via the consequential improvement in the collection of SMEs’ data.”
Supant said: “The registration within the tax system and the single business account idea will help SMEs gain greater access to loans and allow them to received proper support from the government, since the government will gain better information on which sector is truly in trouble at any given time.”