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Agencies draw up economic plans

All economic agencies will prepare for the National Council for Peace and Order action plans under a road map with four focuses - to solve people's troubles, engage basic economic drivers, institute reforms, and cultivate reconciliation, according to the Fiscal Policy Office.

"Everyone had to propose plans for the economy's road map yesterday," said Somchai Sajjapong, director-general of the FPO under the Finance Ministry.

The fiscal 2015 budget is expected to run a deficit of more than Bt250 billion, he said.

The military junta has claimed it wants to get the nation's economy back on track, and to that end each economic agency has to formulate its own plan for the four targets to submit to the NCPO's economic team.

The FPO's plan includes drafting acts on seeking business guarantees for small and medium-sized enterprises and on asking for fair debts.

After this, the office would push for a tax on real estate and a negative income tax, which would offer relief for some by ensuring a more equitable sharing of the tax burden.

All legal drafts will be proposed before a new election.

Budgeting for fiscal 2015 could start immediately. The schedule and budgeting plan will be proposed today.

Infrastructure projects that are not suspect will be carried out. Such projects include double-track railways and more commuter-rail lines in Greater Bangkok.

"Agencies related to these two projects can make fiscal 2015 budget allocations instantly. In fiscal 2015, the budget can run a higher deficit, if projects are necessary and are not a fiscal burden. The projects do not require much investment, compared with high-speed trains that would need more than Bt900 billion," Somchai said.

SET helps Cambodia

The Stock Exchange of Thailand is providing assistance to the Cambodia Securities Exchange, a young stock market in Asean.

"The [memorandum of understanding] between the SET and CSX is a good starting point for our concrete collaboration on capital-market development between the two countries. We look forward to the continued development of the fruitful relationship with CSX," Charamporn Jotikasthira, president of the Thai bourse, said from Phnom Penh on Monday.

The SET has already formed alliances and established collaboration with exchanges in the Greater Mekong Subregion. With its commitment to drive the Thai capital market to be a key sub-region connector, the SET has signed an agreement to collaborate with stock exchanges in Laos and Vietnam.

Peso, ringgit on rise

The Philippine peso and Malaysian ringgit have gone to first from worst in Southeast Asia, as authorities hint at interest-rate increases and investors seek havens from Thailand's military coup.

The peso has advanced 2.1 per cent this month against the US dollar, while the ringgit gained 1.7 per cent, after inflation exceeded benchmark borrowing costs since December amid the fastest economic growth in the region.

The currencies were Southeast Asia's worst in the first quarter.

The baht has weakened 0.6 per cent this year as global funds pulled US$1.7 billion (Bt55.5 billion) from Thai equities and debt. - Bloomberg


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