Takorn urges B1bn for work from home – Bangkok Post - Freelance Rack

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Takorn urges B1bn for work from home – Bangkok Post

The government should quickly promote Thailand as a work-from-home (WFH) hub for the world as the pandemic continues to inflict damage abroad and other economic drivers in Thailand remain bogged down, says Takorn Tantasith, former secretary-general of National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

Mr Takorn, who left the regulator at the end of June, is serving as principal expert for the National 5G Committee and the National Digital Economy and Society Committee, as well as a member of the National Strategy Committee.

He said promotion as a WFH hub may initially require a budget of around 1 billion baht.

Some 500 million baht could be drawn from the NBTC’s Broadcasting and Telecommunication Research and Development Fund for the Public, which has 2-3 billion baht, said Mr Takorn.

Another 500 million baht may be taken from the Digital Fund under the Digital Economy and Society Ministry.

He said related agencies such as the Foreign and Interior ministries and the Board of Investment must work on easing the work permit procedure for executives of global enterprises that participate in the WFH hub scheme.

Tax regulations may need to be ironed out to ensure collections from those working in the country, said Mr Takorn.

Digital platforms linked with the WFH hub project need to be developed and students involved with political rallies could study and develop these platforms, which could be a way to ease political tensions, he said.

The platforms include telework, real-time interactive tools, telemedicine, WFH tools, as well as those for online education, said Mr Takorn.

Other major economic engines such as tourism remain in stasis and are not generating income for the country.

Thailand has a strong advantage as a WFH hub in Asean as it was the first 5G adopter in the region.

Thailand is perceived to have coped well with the outbreak, thanks partly to the deployment of customised robots to take care of coronavirus patients and other related solutions at hospitals as well as the 5G network roll-out, which can help enhance technological adaptions, he said.

Mr Takorn said global enterprises may need to submit a list of executives or employees who would participate the WFH scheme and their working periods, which could require at least 6-8 months.

The move is to ensure the benefits generated in terms of income tax collected from these foreigners are distributed throughout the nation, he said.

Mr Takorn also urged the government to support the development of local over-the-top platforms for daily use to help boost revenue streams for the country.

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