The ICT Ministry’s "Computer for Community and Citizen Project" aims to help local IT vendors as well as close the digital divide gap.
The ministry plans to offer a special tax reduction to companies which donate their used computers to local communities.
The ministry is in discussions with the Revenue Department to change their rules and regulations to support the new tax proposal which is expected to roll out by the end of this year, according to Director of Information and Communication Technology Industry promotion, Bureau Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Ministry, Ajin Jirachiefpattana.
This will be an incentive for firms to implement Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by setting up IT community centres and donating computers to temples, municipalities and Tambon administration offices.
Another project will offer special computer sets bundled with broadband services from the CAT and the TOT and local software applications.
Moreover, the ICT is in negotiations with Government banks, such as the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, Krung Thai Bank and SME Bank, to offer special loans to users who participate in this programme.
If this project kicks off, it will help to lift Thailand’s Networked Readiness Rankings to at least 15th rank and it is expected that at least 200,000 people or more than 10,000 communities will access ICT more efficiently and more cheaply.
This will also help to expand ICT community centres more widely with 200 ICT community centres planned for this fiscal year.
Panuwat Khantamoleekul, Managing Director, Supreme Distribution (Thailand), said this move will help to acce-lerate the sales of local computers.
However, the privilege for tax reduction may not gain a big momentum because under the economic situation fewer corporations will have enough money to donate.
In comparison to 6 years ago, at the time of the first ICT minister, this project may be more attractive because desktops are priced under 10,000 baht.