Bidders attend an auction of residential units and land plots organised by the Government Housing Bank in Bangkok in 2020. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
A new bill to allow eligible foreigners to hold land ownership in Thailand are being vetted by the Council of State and it can still be changed, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Tuesday.
The Council of State would gather opinions on the issue, Gen Prayut told reporters. Under the bill, foreigners categorised under four specific groups would be able to apply for permission to buy up to 1 rai (roughly 0.4 acre) of land on the condition they invest at least 40 million baht each for at least years.
The government would be able to clarify all issues related to the scheme, he added.
Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Tuesday that even if foreigners are permitted to buy and own land in the country, they still cannot take it to back to their homeland.
People who are concerned should consider the benefits provided by the foreigners and study the details of the bill, Mr Anutin said.
The cabinet on Oct 25 approved in principle the draft regulation of the Ministry of Interior, allowing four groups of foreign nationals — wealthy global citizens, wealthy pensioners, people who want to work from Thailand, and highly skilled professionals or specialists — to buy and own land for residences.
To qualify, they must invest at least 40 million baht in Thai property, securities or funds.
They are required to invest in real estate or infrastructure funds, real estate investment trusts, securities, or enterprises promoted by the Board of Investment. The scheme will become effective after publication in the Royal Gazette.