THE FINANCE Ministry has been studying ways to amend the law to extend the length of time foreigners can hold land and property in Thailand to 50 years from the present 30 years in order to boost the real-estate sector.
They would also be able sell the holding rights during the period, Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said on Thursday. He added if the amendment went through, it would revitalise the property sector.
The ministry has also studied ways to collect tax from those benefiting from state investment in transportation mega-projects. One beneficiary is the real-estate business, and such parties should be subject to taxation, so that the government can collect revenue to finance other infrastructure projects.
Apisak said some countries already have such a measure in place. Investment by those governments has stimulated many businesses, which in turn should do their part to add to government revenue.
He said the Thai government had introduced several measures in the past to support the property sector.
He also noted that the government had launched the Pracha Rath housing projects to serve low-income people and invited the private sector to support these schemes. However, there has been a lack of enthusiasm from the private sector.
Apisak said his ministry wanted to see the land and building tax come into law within the term of the current military-led regime, which would enable the local governments to gain additional tax revenue by Bt60 billion from what it could currently collect at Bt20 billion per year.
The Cabinet has already approved the bill.