Governments across the world are beginning to explore the potential benefits of integrating blockchain-based applications into the public sector.
Blockchain has the ability to record transactions on distributed ledgers. In this way, blockchain, therefore, provides new opportunities for governments to establish trust, prevent fraud, and improve efficiency. Such great benefits attract huge attention of governments in several countries to eliminate corruption and enhance productivity.
The latest report shows that the government of Thailand has further embraced blockchain technology adoption to improve its financial sector.
Here are the details of the Thai government’s latest project of deploying blockchain solutions in the finance ministry.
Improving the Efficiency of Work Processes
On 13th November 2019, the Thai finance ministry revealed that its main finance agencies will adopt artificial intelligence and blockchain technology starting from 28th November.
Finance minister – Uttama Savanayana – said that these finance agencies under the ministry will start streamlining work processes using innovative technology to focus on time efficiency and finally eliminate paperwork pilling at work.
The key finance agencies – the Customs Department and the Revenue Department – will be adopting blockchain technology at the end of this month.
Blockchain VAT refunds
Uttama mentioned that the blockchain technology would be applied for VAT (value-added tax) refund service for foreign tourists. Over 2 million foreign tourists normally purchase services and goods in Thailand each month, which amounts to 50 billion baht.
Averagely, 200,000 tourists claim a VAT refund every month, and 70% of them are Chinese travelers who don’t like holding cash.
The use of blockchain for VAT refunds would minimize and speed up the document verification process. Therefore, purchase details of tourists will be shared immediately with the Customs Department and the Revenue Department once shops enter the information in the system.
Blockchain would also reduce the use of 10 million of paper sheets each year, decrease cash management costs, and minimize congestion at VAT refund counters.
Moreover, foreign tourists would be able to claim VAT refunds through applications as effective from 28th November. They are expected to identify the channels like WeChat or credit card from which they want to get the money back.
The finance minister identified that the state-owned Krung Thai Bank and the two finance agencies will offer VAT Refunds services through a new mobile application recognized as ‘VRT Blockchain’.
Uttama said that the blockchain system will assist in speeding up the process and reducing fraud as more than two million foreign tourists normally apply for tax refunds every year.
Furthermore, the tax-collecting agencies would be in a position to maximize their work and make their inspections more efficient by applying blockchain technology. Uttama further said that blockchain technology adoption would also enable the tax-collecting agencies to handle data management involving bond issuance and budget procurement.
Since blockchain proves its functionality and gains success in many sectors, various organizations and even governments aim at harnessing its efficiency to solve problems.
As much progress is being noticed every day, the Thai government has intensified its interest in blockchain technology adoption. Thai finance agencies can now demonstrate how blockchain solutions can enhance the efficiency of administrative work processes.
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