Thailand’s interior minister seeks to withdraw edict on foreign land ownership for reconsideration

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Commercial property and residential condominiums are represented in Bangkok. (Photo by Alex OGLE / AFP)

The government appears ready to reverse course on its plan to allow foreign land ownership in Thailand for residential purposes, following widespread opposition to the policy, the deputy prime minister and minister said today (Monday). Supattanapong Punmeechaow Energy.

Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda is expected to ask the cabinet to withdraw the ministerial edict, approved by the cabinet on October 25eallowing qualified foreigners to purchase 0.16 hectares of land, provided they invest at least 40 million baht for at least three years.

To qualify to own land in Bangkok, Pattaya, other municipalities and other areas specified by law, foreigners must also be wealthy citizens of the world, wealthy retirees, those who want to work from Thailand or highly qualified people.

Supattanapong said the edict is currently pending with the State Council, to “fine tune” the wording, adding that the foreign land ownership scheme is only an “option”.

If there are still people who feel uncomfortable with this plan, he said the government, for the time being, will have to withdraw the edict for reconsideration and take time to clarify the matter to the people.

He also said the government will have to explain to outsiders why the plan needs to be withdrawn.

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