History of Thailand's Ministry of Finance

The management of national revenue goes back to the 15th century to the establishment of the Royal Treasury Department in 1448. It was one of the four principal government agencies decreed by King Boromtrilokanat of Ayuthya Era, to collect various forms of taxes and import duties, to deal in trade with foreign merchants, and to operate the Crown's warehouse business and merchant fleet. However, revenue and tax collection had not been efficient until the early Bangkok period at the turn of the 19th century. During the reign of King Rama III (1824-1851), revenue collection was so low that tax concessionaire system was adopted. Leading businessmen, who offered the highest bids, were appointed tax collectors for certain types of business which the royal government maintained monopolies.

During the reign of King Rama IV (1853-1868), Thailand signed the Bowring Treaty with England in 1855, and opened its door wider to the international trading community. However, the Thai government had to concede the Crowns monopolies on certain commodities as well as the fixing of customs duty rate at no more than three percent. The country was at a disadvantage, but international trade grew. Foreign merchants, trading Mexican silver dollar for Thai currency to buy domestic goods, exhausted the money supply in circulation. As a result, the first Royal Mint was set up in 1860 to increase money in circulation.

King Rama V ascended the throne in 1868 to find the national finance in deteriorating state, withcritical shortfall in revenue collection on all fronts, particularly the concession dues from Chinese concessionaires. Tax collection agencies, at that time, were undertaken by diverse departments, members of the royalties or high ranking officials. The collectors were laxed in delivering revenues to the Royal Treasury with virtually no system of accountable book-keeping. The king then proclaimed a decree in 1873 establishing the Royal Treasury as the central agency for revenue collection. The Royal Treasury office was located in the Grand Palace. Treasury officials were appointed. Their main tasks were to press for the delivery of the royal revenues collected by the various agencies concerned. Then, two years later in 1875,H.M. King Chulalongkorn (King Rama V of the present Chakri Dynasty) promulgated the Royal Treasury Act that institutionalized national revenue management and put it under the jurisdiction of one agency, the Royal Treasury Department. The Act instituted the official system for disbursement of the treasury fund, for auditing, for levying and collection of various categories of taxes,and for duties and liens under the responsibilities of the Royal Treasury. It also laid down the responsibilities, for administer ranks of civil servants and the legal duties for tax and customs officers in the collection of revenues.

By virtue of the Royal Treasury Act, which was proclaimed on April 14, 1875, the Royal Treasury came into official existence as the government agency to administer the national finance in the collection of revenues, the management of the Crown Property and disbursement of royal fund. By evolution, the Royal Treasury had undergone developments in stages. Following the transition of the form of government from Absolute Monarchy to Constitutional Monarchy in 1932, the Ministry of Finance finally came into its own in 1933 by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1933. The Royal Treasury Ministry was then changed to the Ministry of Finance which now consists of 10 departments and 14 state enterprises including :

Government Agencies

1. Office of the Secretary to the Minister
2. Office of the Permanent Secretary
3. The Fiscal Policy Office
4. The Treasury Department
5. The Comptroller General Department
6. The Customs Department
7. The Excise Department
8. The Revenue Department
9. The Public Debt Management Office (PDMO)
10. The State Enterprise Policy Office (SEPO)

State Enterprises

1. The Government Lottery Office
2. Thailand Tobacco Monopoly
3. Government Saving Bank
4. Government Housing Bank
5. Krung Thai Bank Public Company Limited
6. Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives
7. Liquor Distillery Organization (Excise Department)
8. Playing Cards Factory (Excise Department)
9. Export-Import Bank of Thailand
10. Small Business Credit Guarantee Coroporation (SBCG)
11. Secondary Mortgage Corporation
12. Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bangk of Thailand (SME Bank)
13. Student Loan Fund
14. Dhanarak Asset Development Company Limited