Cabinet approves B117bn stimulus

Cabinet approves B117bn stimulus

B5,000 handout for 3 months for workers

Workers at Marwin Garment factory in Sai Mai district of Bangkok make cloth masks for free handouts on Tuesday. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Workers at Marwin Garment factory in Sai Mai district of Bangkok make cloth masks for free handouts on Tuesday. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The cabinet approved on Tuesday a package of stimulus measures worth at least 117 billion baht to try and mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak that has infected more than 800 people in the country.

The measures include cash handouts worth 45 billion baht for 3 million workers outside the social security system, who will also be offered soft loans worth 60 billion baht as well as tax breaks, government officials told a news conference.

Separately, small firms will be offered 10 billion baht of loans while the government will also delay business tax payments for companies to help boost their liquidity.

"The measures announced today should be sufficient for now," said Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak.

"But there will be another package of stimulus... to help farmers affected by drought and to spur the economy," he said.

Earlier this month, the government also approved stimulus measures estimated to inject 400 billion baht into the already flagging economy.

The economy grew 2.4% last year, the weakest pace in five years. Some economists expect an economic contraction this year owing to the outbreak.

Thailand reported on Tuesday 106 new coronavirus cases and 3 more deaths, taking the total to 827 cases and four deaths.

Thailand will be enter emergency mode on Thursday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Tuesday. A spokeswoman later said the emergency would last until April 30.

Among the measures announced on Tuesday were:

People

  • 5,000-baht handout a month for three months for some 3 million workers not covered by the Social Security Fund (SSF). Those under the SSF will get increaseed unemployment compensation to 50% of salaries.
  • 10,000-baht emergency loan per person at 0.1% monthly interest (no collateral)
  • 50,000-baht special loan per person at 0.35% monthly interest (with collateral)
  • State-owned pawnshops charge a lower rate of 0.125% a month
  • Personal income tax filing extended to August 2020
  • Health insurance premiums deduction increased to 25,000 baht from 15,000
  • Tax exemption on risk payments for medical workers
  • Training for income earners

Operators

  • Loans up to 3 million baht for SMEs at 3% interest rate in the first two years
  • Corporate income tax filing extended to August (Por Ngor Dor 50) and September (Por Ngor Dor 51)
  • Filing of other taxes for affected operators extended by three months
  • Filing of excise tax by service businesses extended by one month
  • Filing of excise tax for oil products operators extended to the 15th of the following month for three months
  • Exemption of import duty for products related to the prevention and treatment of Covid-19
  • Exemption of taxes and fee cuts for debt restructuring with non-financial institution creditors


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