By SOMLUCK SRIMALEE
Big Brother is a new scheme under the Pracha Rath policy of collaboration between the public and private sectors to drive the country’s economic growth.
Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said yesterday that big corporates that support SMEs by assisting with marketing, technology, financial guarantees, and so on should be granted a tax deduction of 200 per cent of their expenditure. This will be proposed to the Cabinet this month.
Big Brother is the fourth Pracha Rath measure to support SMEs. The Cabinet last September 8 approved the first three. Those measures called for setting up a joint-venture fund worth Bt2 billion by the state-owned Government Savings Bank, Krungthai Bank, and Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank, tax reductions for SMEs, and tax exemptions for new start-up businesses.
“Listed companies that are members of SET100 have the ability to support SMEs and rural people, if they spend their corporate-social-responsibility budgets to support the community and SMEs and are strong enough financially to stand by themselves for the long term,” Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said.
He said that during the remainder of the military-led regime’s term, it would put in place measures to support private-sector investment both for themselves and to support SMEs for sustainable long-term growth.
Top executives of the SET100 large-cap companies and those in the financial and capital markets and government gathered yesterday at a seminar to exchange viewpoints.
Stock Exchange of Thailand president Kesara Manchusree said that in line with the government’s economic policies, the SET was committed to supporting and strengthening the capabilities of SMEs, start-ups and social enterprises to utilise the capital market as the source of funds to accelerate business growth.
She said the SET encouraged listed companies to support the SMEs involved in their supply chains. The bourse also enhances knowledge so that companies can operate successfully and sustainably, while the exchange itself has set up a “social-impact portal” to promote social enterprises directly.
Kan Trakulhoon, head of Pracha Rath’s research-and-development and legal-reform working groups from the private sector, said at the seminar that this was a good time for the private sector to invest because of the government’s incentives.
He said the legal-reform working group was looking into revisions to business law that would facilitate the appointment of professionals to draw up operational plans for ease of doing business. This will focus on the customs system, foods and drugs, immigration, environmental impact assessments and environment health impact assessments, and city planning.