Thailand approves US$1.63-billion scheme to support pandemic-hit people

Thursday, 2021-10-21 14:48:15
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A deserted street in Bangkok due to COVID-19 (Photo: AFP/VNA)
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NDO/VNA - The Thai cabinet has approved the distribution of additional 54.5 billion baht (US$1.63 billion) to ease difficulties facing people affected by COVID-19 pandemic and to boost domestic consumption.

The new measures, which will be funded by the second 500-billion-baht emergency loan decree, will primarily support four schemes, Thai Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana was quoted by local media as saying.

They comprise the third phase of the co-payment subsidy scheme (42 billion baht); cash handouts to low-income earners who hold state welfare cards (8.12 billion baht) and vulnerable people who need special assistance such as the elderly, the disabled, bed-ridden patients and those without smartphones (1.38 billion baht); and a consumption encouragement scheme worth 3 billion baht.

Alongside, the Thai cabinet also approved a package of 37.5 billion baht to help local firms retain 4.2 million jobs.

Earlier this year, the Thai Government passed a plan to borrow 500 billion baht to reduce impacts of the pandemic. The Bank of Thailand predicted that the country’s economic expansion may reach only 0.7 percent this year.

Meanwhile, Pisit Puapan, director of the Bureau of Macroeconomic Policy predicted that Thailand’s economic growth may reach 1.3 percent this year, as forecast by the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO).