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TAT denies move to give foreigners right to own land

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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TAT denies move to give foreigners right to own land | Thaiger

BANGKOK: Reports that foreigners who buy the one-million-baht Thai Privilege Card will be able to own land have been denied by a senior official of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) parent of the card issuer, the Thai Privilege Card Co Ltd (TPC). The reports suggested that the government was moving to allow card-holders to buy and own up to 10 rai of land for a home. Sakol Thongkham, the Government Coordinator of the TAT, told the Gazette that the most a card-holder could expect would be that the TPC would hold the land on his or her behalf. “It is not our aim to allow foreigners to own land,” K. Sakol said. “Indeed, we would be unhappy if people bought the card only because of the land issue. “It is not possible for a foreigner’s name to be on a land deed – the owner must be Thai,” he explained. However, if requested by a card-holder, the TPC, as a Thai entity, will own the land on behalf of the foreigner and issue a certificate of “possession” to the foreigner. “If the cardholder wants to transfer possession to another foreigner, then it must be on the same condition, that the land is for a home only. But if the transfer is to a Thai, then, of course, the Thai person may own the land outright,” K Sakol added. He offered a faint hope that at some point in the future card holders might receive some sort of ownership privileges. “We will try to find the best way for members to own land – not 100%, but will do as much as we can. “We want to build on the confidence of members, but if we can’t do this, we will revert to the old system of [holding land on behalf of card holders]. There is a level of comfort in this, he pointed out, “because [TPC] belongs to the government.” But, he noted, “It is very difficult to change the law to allow foreigners to own land outright. Our project doesn’t mean that we want to sell land or the country,” K Sakol added. He said that information about the land-holding facility had not been posted on the TPC website at www.thailandelite.com because TPC is still waiting for the procedures to be put in place. The company – launched in October – claims it has sold about 300 of the million-baht cards, most of them to people living overseas. Benefits of membership include fast-track immigration services with automatic one-year permits to stay and special deals and discounts on hotels, restaurants, golf courses, spas, shops and transport, including private aircraft and helicopters. For more information, call 02-6528325 or 02-6528304 during office hours or visit https://www.thailandelite.com

 

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