Thai has sufficient budget to tackle pandemic’s economic effects

6 January, 2021 12:00 AM printer

BANGKOK: The Thai Government has sufficient budget to tackle the economic effects of the second wave of COVID-19, Director of the country’s Budget Bureau (BB) Dechapiwat Na Songkhla said on January 5.

The BB chief said the Government still has more than 600 billion THB from the central budget for the fiscal year 2021 and the 1-trillion-THB loan decree launched in 2019, report agencies.

Patricia Mongkhonvanit, Director-General of the Public Debt Management Office, said the Government still has 400 billion THB left from the 1-trillion-THB loan bill to take care of the economy in the midst of the resurgence of virus infections.

Under the 1-trillion-THB borrowing plan, it also took out 370 billion THB with 348 billion THB earmarked for economic and social rehabilitation.

Latest data showed that more than 100,000 employees have lost their jobs or been suspended from work as a result of the closure of more than 6,000 businesses in 28 red-zone provinces in the wake of the new outbreak.

Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin said insured workers left unemployed due to the pandemic could begin applying for compensation payments from January 4.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Thailand and the Thai Bankers Association are set to meet to discuss measures to help businesses affected by the resurgence of COVID-19 infections.

A source with the financial market said the two agencies initially agreed on three pillars, “Restructuring, Reviving and Reform”, to maintain financial stability of financial institutions.

The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) also plans to reassess Thailand’s economic outlook in 2021 as stronger state measures against the new outbreak have begun to affect employment in at-risk provinces.

A surge in daily infections since late 2020, with a record of 745 new coronavirus cases on January 4, has meant several business sectors, particularly restaurants, are suffering.

The situation prompted the JSCCIB to reconsider the pandemic’s impact on the economy, according to Chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries Supant Mongkolsuthree.

Thailand’s Ministry of Finance this year will focus on three areas to revive the national economy amid slower-than-expected recovery and a second wave of COVID-19.

First, the ministry will urgently push for economic revival by speeding up budget disbursement and state spending. It also would streamline the tax structure to fit well with the economic and social change.

 


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