Sunday, 28 November, 2021

Thai approves $1.64bn more economic support measures

BANGKOK: Thailand’s cabinet on Tuesday approved a further 54.5 billion baht (US$1.64 billion) in relief measures to help boost its flagging economy as the Southeast Asian country deals with its biggest and most prolonged coronavirus outbreak.

Thailand’s economy is expected to grow just 0.7per cent this year after a 6.1per cent contraction last year, the central bank forecast, with the key tourism sector still stumbling. Thailand earlier this year approved a further 500 billion baht borrowing plan to mitigate the impact of the epidemic, report agencies.

Of the approved support, the government will offer 42 billion baht of cash transfers under an existing co-payment scheme between November and December, spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana told a news conference.

There will be 3 billion baht in e-vouchers for spenders under an existing scheme, about 8.1 billion baht for holders of state welfare cards and about 1.38 billion baht for those with special needs, he said.

“Every measure is to stimulate a recovering economy and to help people and business operators,” Thanakorn said.

The government will have about 262 billion baht available under the borrowing plan following the support measures, he added.

The cabinet also approved a plan to allow foreigners on special visas to join a “flexible plus programme” and seek work permits, said deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Traisoranakul.