1. Don’t mess with lese majeste law: Prayut: Prime Minister and United Thai Nation (UTN) Party premier candidate Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday advised both politicians and voters to steer clear of any effort to reform laws relating to the monarchy. Bangkok Post
  2. Pheu Thai closes door on PPRP tie-up: Paetongtarn “Ung Ing” Shinawatra, Pheu Thai’s prime ministerial candidate, yesterday stressed the party will not form a coalition government with the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) after the election. Bangkok Post
  3. Ministry sets targets for tax reform: Revenue needed for future expenses. The Finance Ministry has set four targets for tax reform, aiming to boost revenue to cover expenses and deal with future economic uncertainties, says Fiscal Policy Office director-general Pornchai Thiraveja. Bangkok Post
  4. Departure tax proposed: People must pay 1,000 baht to leave the country via air under surprise levy. Thai outbound travellers and foreign permanent residents in Thailand have been asked for their opinion on a government departure tax of 1,000 baht in an attempt to prevent locals from spending excessively abroad, with the Revenue Department announcing online public hearings this week. Bangkok Post
  5. Excise requests extra B3bn for EV subsidy: Department projects higher sales volume. The Excise Department plans to ask for an additional government budget of 3 billion baht to subsidise the use of electric vehicles (EVs) in the state EV subsidy scheme, in line with the rising sales volume, says deputy director-general Kriengkrai Pattanaporn. Bloomberg
  6. Smartphone sales fell 20% yoy in 1Q23, vs -14.6% global avg, mainly due to a sharp drop in low end segment, but there’s growth in upper market segment in Thailand, due to strong sales of new flagship models from Samsung and Apple.
  7. ‘Zero chance of a coup’: Narongpan says army has learnt its lesson. Army chief Gen Narongpan Jittkaewtae yesterday provided assurances that no coups will take place while he is in charge, saying the word “coup” should not exist in anyone’s vocabulary. Bangkok Post
  8. Banks consider new fees to reflect expenses: Higher costs passed on to customers. The Thai Bankers’ Association (TBA) is mulling a new fee structure for the industry, with higher service costs for banks possibly passed on to customers. Bangkok Post
  9. Rocketing rates: State banks are offering much higher interest on products in an effort to attract depositors for the short term. State banks are rushing to provide higher deposit rates to customers, including one scheme that offers up to 17%. Bangkok Post
  10. Rush to safety: Buyers flock to safety amid uncertainty. The World Gold Council says central bank purchases of gold should continue throughout the year. Investors and central banks are projected to continue buying gold this year as economic uncertainty roils markets. Global demand for gold among investors is growing this year thanks to turmoil in the banking sector, geopolitical tensions and a challenging economic environment, leading more people to flock to the precious metal as a safehaven asset, says the World Gold Council (WGC). Bangkok Post

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