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More Thai government departments look to blockchain to streamline work processes

Mon, 02 Sep 2019, 12:10 pm UTC

Thailand’s Revenue Department and the Comptroller-General's Department are the latest government agencies that are poised to explore blockchain technology.

Just recently, the Customs Department announced its plans to use TradeLens, a blockchain-based shipping solution jointly developed by IBM and Maersk, to develop Thai trade.

Bangkok Post reported last week that the Revenue Department and the Comptroller-General's Department will be soon launching a blockchain pilot project to streamline work processes.

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said that the technology will provide information related to value-added tax (VAT) and inspecting VAT refunds, thereby helping to reduce fraud.

In the subsequent phase, Savanayana said that they will try connecting data from three tax-collecting agencies – the Revenue Department, the Customs Department, and the Excise Department – using blockchain technology in order to improve working and inspection efficiency.

Savanayana believes that the Finance Ministry can significantly benefit from blockchain technology as it handles a lot of data. He said that the technology will allow information to be shared across departments and with outside entities.

Earlier in June, Dr. Ekniti Nitithanprapas, the Director-General of the Revenue Department, had announced the agenda for the development of tax services via digital technology to enhance the digital services for business entities. He said:

“The change of technology and the increase of various needs of taxpayers in the digital age caused the Revenue Department to develop and design services that serve the needs of all taxpayers faster, and to decrease the difficulties for the taxpayers by using technology as a tool to expand the cooperation with other agencies, of which the Revenue Department has set up standard information systems with Open API to link the information and with Blockchain to expand future information access points."

Government authorities around the world are increasingly considering looking to blockchain technology for enhancing their operational efficiency. The Brazilian city of São Paulo was recently reported to have contracted Construtivo to use a blockchain registry for its public works projects. Last month, the Russian city of Moscow was seeking a contractor for developing a blockchain-based system for hosting its administrative services.

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