Thailand: Ailing economy to get Baht100bil injection from Oct-Dec; two new covid-19 cases

  • Thailand
  • Friday, 25 Sep 2020

Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow. - The Nation Thailand/Asian News Network

BANGKOK, Sept 25 (The Nation Thailand/ANN): Government stimulus schemes are expected to inject Bt100 billion into the economy in the last three months of this year, Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow told the Krungthep Turakit newspaper.

The Bt100-billion injection will come both from government spending and from people’s spending under three stimulus measures.Under the first measure, 14 million welfare cardholders will receive an extra monthly discount of Bt500 from October to December on their shopping.

The budget for this scheme is Bt21 billion.

Meanwhile under the “Kon La Khreung” (Let’s Go Halves) measure, 10 million people will get daily discounts of up to B100 on food, beverages and household essentials (not including alcohol, tobacco or lottery tickets).

The subsidy is capped at Bt,3000 per person. The Cabinet has given the green light to both schemes.Supattanapong said the third measure will serve wealthier citizens with tax incentives to encourage them to spend.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet has approved a budget of Bt19.5 billion to help the private sector hire 260,000 new graduates by paying half their salaries.

Supattanapong, who also serves as Energy Minister, predicted the economy would improve next year but said it might be two years before Thailand's economic growth returns to its pre-coronavirus level.

He said the country's existing budget would be enough to boost the economy provided there is no second wave of Covid-19.

However, given uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the government stands ready to borrow more if necessary, since Thailand's current debt is not high compared to other countries.

He added that the government was proceeding with utmost caution in budget spending in order to stay financially healthy in the post-outbreak era.

There were two cases of reinfection of the three new Covid-19 cases in state quarantine over a 24-hour period, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said on Friday (Sept 25).

A 42-year-old man who had returned from Singapore on September 18 was found positive on September 23 in Chonburi state quarantine. He had been infected earlier but did not go to a hospital in Singapore for treatment.

The Singapore health authority found him free from infection on June 11.A 58-year-old man travelled back from Kuwait on September 22 and tested positive the same day. His health history showed that he had been infected and got treated in a hospital before returning to Thailand.

A 42-year-old woman returned from the United States on September 19 and tested positive on September 23 in Chonburi’s state quarantine facility.

Meanwhile, seven patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.The total number of confirmed cases in Thailand increased to 3,519 (581 in state quarantine), of whom 100 are in hospital and 3,360 have recovered and been discharged, while the death toll is 59.

According to Worldometer, as of 10am, the total number of confirmed cases had increased to 32.4 million (up by 314,855 over a 24-hour period), 23.9 million have recovered, there are 7.49 million active cases ( 63,333 in severe condition) and 987,724 have died.

Thailand ranks 136th for most cases in the world, while the US has the most number with 7.18 million, followed by India 5.81 million, Brazil 4.65 million, Russia 1.12 million and Colombia 790,823. - The Nation Thailand/Asian News Network
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