Cabinet approves Bt11 billion flood-rehabilitation budget


BANGKOK, Jan 4 – The cabinet on Wednesday approved a budget of Bt11 billion for the rehabilitation of flood-ravaged basic infrastructure, according to government spokesperson Thitima Chaisaeng.

The budget proposed by Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Vichaidit who heads the flood rehabilitation committee won cabinet approval.

Of the total budget, Bt5.6 billion was allocated for repairs to transportation infrastructure, Bt3.2 billion for reservoirs and irrigation systems, Bt1.3 billion for rebuilding schools and Bt137 million for restoring religious and historical sites, the government spokesperson said.

In addition, the cabinet also approved Bt613 million budget for defence ministry rehabilitation projects to repair military vehicles and equipment used to help flood victims in the capital and many provinces, Ms Thitima said.

The cabinet resolved that the post-flood budget allocation is urgently needed and must be immediately implemented to boost confidence among the people.

In addition, the cabinet also acknowledged the Board of Investment’s decision to restore investments impacted by the flood crisis with measures including tax exemptions, said Chalitrat Chandrubeksa, deputy spokesman of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Under the assistance measures, investment projects exempted from corporate income tax payments with limited tax exemption are to be regarded as new projects and thus benefit from corporate tax exemption for eight years.

If such projects are still invested in the same provinces and they have been flooded, they are to receive tax exemption at 150 per cent of their investment amount. However, their taxes are to be exempted at only 100 per cent if they have relocated to invest in other provinces.

On the other hand, projects exempted from corporate income tax payment with an unlimited tax exemption are to benefit from corporate income tax exemption of the existing projects for another three years but altogether no more than eight years.

Owners of industrial estates or industrial zones will be exempted from corporate income tax for eight years if flood prevention systems have been developed in their estates and they collect fees fairly from entrepreneurs.

The flood caused damages to 8,252 entrepreneurs in 42 provinces with the overall cost estimated at about Bt328.2 billion. So far, 765 entrepreneurs have registered to seek soft government loans with a budget of Bt33 billion.