Thailand plans US$7.2bil stimulus to rescue virus-hit economy

In this Tuesday, May 4, 2021, photo, residents of the Klong Toey neighborhood, an area with a current spike in coronavirus cases, wait to receive the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine in Bangkok, Thailand. Health officials rushed to vaccinate thousands of people in Bangkok's biggest slum on Wednesday as a new surge in Covid-19 cases spread through densely populated low-income areas located in the capital's central business district. - AP

BANGKOK, May 5 (Bloomberg): Thailand is planning to spend billions of dollars in providing financial relief to low-income groups to cope with the economic hit from the biggest Covid-19 outbreak sweeping the nation since the pandemic began.

The cabinet gave in-principle approval on Wednesday for fiscal stimulus measures including extension of two cash handout programs by a month at a cost of 85.5 billion baht (US$2.8 billion).

It also proposed 140 billion baht worth of spending for co-payment and e-voucher programs and more cash handouts to welfare cardholders and special groups to stimulate domestic consumption, officials said.

The measures will be taken up by the cabinet for approval in coming weeks, according to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha.

The Bank of Thailand on Wednesday unanimously voted to maintain interest rate at record low to support an economic recovery that’s threatened by the slow pace of vaccinations and a delay in reopening the borders to tourists.

Thailand’s total Covid-19 caseload and fatalities have more than doubled since early April, triggering several control measures on businesses and travel.

"The government will implement the second-phase measures once the outbreak is contained possibly during July-December,” Prayuth said. "We expect these measures will cover 51 million people and generate 473 billion baht in the economy.”

Others key measures cleared at Wednesday’s cabinet meeting include:

Cuts in electricity and water charges for most users during May and June.

Approves 20 billion baht low-interest rate loans from state-owned banksState-owned banks to extend grace period for principal re-payment till year-end.

Approves 12.6 billion baht budget for the Health Ministry to handle the third wave of infections.

Extends tax incentives for companies hiring former prisoners for a year until end-2021. - Reuters
Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Thailand , Govt , Agree , US$7.2bil , Stimulus , Rescue , Virus-hit , Economy


Next In Aseanplus News

China's transformation "not possible without the visionary leadership of CPC", says former Malaysian envoy
Covid-19: Malaysia hits new high with 221,706 vaccine jabs administered nationwide
China’s market rebound in second half looks unlikely as policy tightening will hold back rally, BCA Research says
Biden and Putin call Geneva talks ‘positive’, ‘constructive’, but differences emerged over how much they will cooperate
Restrictions are needed but full US-China tech decoupling isn’t wise, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says
US to counter China’s ‘malign’ influence on United Nations, says senior official
Lotus's Malaysia launches flagship stores in Penang, Johor
Olympics-Tokyo 2020 head wants spectators; expert report seen urging none
‘Troops torched Magway village’
Lecturer sacked for serious misconduct over racist remark

Stories You'll Enjoy