Thailand raises public debt ceiling to recover economy

Wednesday, 2021-09-22 15:52:50
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A convenient store in Bangkok, Thailand (Photo: AFP/VNA)
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NDO/VNA - Thailand has increased the ceiling of its public debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio to 70 percent from 60 percent, allowing the government to raise more funds to help a struggling economy.

The decision was made by the State Monetary and Fiscal Policy Committee chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on September 20.

The Southeast Asian country is dealing with its biggest COVID-19 outbreak to date and stricter containment measures have hit economic activities although some have been eased from this month.

Last year, the government issued its first emergency loan decree last year to authorise it to borrow THB1 trillion to fund its stimulus schemes to combat the pandemic. A second decree was issued this year to allow the government to borrow an additional THB500 billion.

Last month, Bank of Thailand Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said the country would need a further THB1 trillion in fiscal measures to help cushion losses in jobs and income.

The finance ministry has forecast Southeast Asia's second-largest economy will grow 1.3 percent this year, while the central bank has predicted a 0.7 percent growth rate.

Last year, the economy contracted 6.1 percent, the deepest fall in more than two decades.

Meanwhile, Director General of the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) Kulaya Tantitemit said that the Thai Ministry of Finance will inject more money into the economic system in the fourth quarter of 2021 to further improve the weakening economy amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.