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Thai Cabinet approves new economic stimulus measures

The Thai government has rolled out new stimulus measures intended to boost full-year economic growth to 2.8%

Boris Sullivan

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The Thai Cabinet today approved three new stimulus packages to prop up the softening economy, said Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana.

The government expects the measures to propel full-year economic growth to 2.8% from a projection of 2.6% recently announced by the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC).

The Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) has recently announced that Thailand’s Q3 2019 GDP growth came in at 2.4 percent, adjusting the overall GDP growth this year down to 2.6 percent, citing negative factors from the trade war affecting the export sector.

The aim is to boost the economy during the remainder of this year and the first quarter of next year

Finance Minister, Mr Uttama Savanayana

1. Grassroot economy  booster

The first package is to boost the grassroots economy and is divided into three sub-projects, namely a village fund for 71,742 villages graded A, B and C. 

Each will receive 200,000 baht to invest in community rice barns, space to dry crops, rice mills, organic fertilizer, water sources or machinery for processing farm products.

There is also the Credit for Community Business project under which the BAAC will provide credit lines, amounting to 50 billion baht, to Village Funds and urban communities for investment in small businesses. The credit line will be for three years at an annual interest rate of 0.01%.  The program will start on December 1st and end on November 30th 2023.

2. Helping farmers to reduce costs

To help farmers cover harvesting and rice quality improvement costs for the 2019-20 crop year, each household will receive 500 baht per 0.06 hectares, up to a maximum of 1.2 hectares or 10,000 baht.  About 4.57 million farming households will benefit from this package, with payments to commence September 30th 2020. The Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) will make the payments, totalling 28 billion baht, and will be refunded later by the government.

3. Home buyers 50000 baht giveaway

The third package is intended to help real estate developers sell their surplus units by offering a 50,000 baht “giveaway” down payment incentive to buyers, each of whom must have a monthly income not exceeding 100,000 baht, and must be listed in the Revenue Department’s record of taxpayers.

The number of buyers will be limited to 100,000 and the 50,000 baht “giveaway” will be on a first come first serve basis. The program will start on November 27th and last until March 31st 2020.

Finance Minister Uttama said this housing stimulus package will cost the tax payer about 5 billion baht, and refunds will be wired into the accounts of the buyers through the PromptPay application by the Government Housing Bank.

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Thai fruit exports to FTA markets up 107 percent

China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia and Chile are top importers of Thai fruits, especially fresh durian, mangosteen, longan and mango. Thai exporters are able to benefit from FTA privileges.

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand’s fruit exports continue to increase, despite the sluggish global economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with key trade partners being countries that have free trade agreements (FTAs) with the kingdom.

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The Future of Asia: greener but with a public and private debt hangover

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a perfect storm, destroying jobs, worsening poverty and inequality, and creating a public and private debt problem—especially for countries and firms already in fragile financial health beforehand

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Economics

50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The government’s 50:50 co-pay campaign expiring on 31st March may not be getting an immediate campaign extension. The Minister of Finance says campaign evaluation is needed to improve future campaigns.

The Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith today announced the government may not be able to reach a conclusion on the extension of the 50:50 co-pay campaign in time for the current 31st March campaign end date, as evaluations are needed to better improve the campaign.

Originally introduced last year, the 50:50 campaign is a financial aid campaign for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the government subsidizes up to half the price of purchases at participating stores, with a daily cap on the subsidy amount of 150 baht, and a 3,500 baht per person subsidy limit over the entire campaign.

The campaign has already been extended once, with the current end date set for 31st March.

The Finance Minister said that payout campaigns for the general public are still valid in this period, allowing time for the 50:50 campaign to be assessed, and to address reports of fraud at some participating stores.

The Fiscal Police Office Director General and the Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Kulaya Tantitemit, said today that a bigger quota could be offered in Phase 3 of the 50:50 campaign beyond the 15 million people enrolled in the first two phases, while existing participants will need to confirm their identity if they want to participate in Phase 3, without the need to fill out the registration form.

Mrs Kulaya said the campaign will still be funded by emergency loan credit allocated for pandemic compensation, which still has about 200 billion baht available as of today.

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