Ministry lines up PNs worth B70bn to buffer viral impact

Ministry lines up PNs worth B70bn to buffer viral impact

The Finance Ministry will issue promissory notes (PN) worth 70 billion baht as the first batch of borrowing under the 1-trillion-baht royal decree to soften blow from the Covid-19 spread and the government’s containment measures.

“Initially the Public Debt Management Office plans to offer 70 billion baht worth of PNs with maturity of four years based on Bangkok Interbank Offered Rate (Bibor), which now stands at 0.97%. We will allow commercial banks to make bidding on April 28,” said Patricia Mongkhonvanit, director-general.

Proceeds from the PNs will be used to fund the 5,000-baht cash handout in the second month and the ministry must receive the raised funds before May 5 to add to treasury reserves.

The number of registrants for the government’s 5,000-baht cash handout almost hit 29 million, while rejected applicants who have appealed increased to 1.7 million, said Fiscal Policy Office director-general Lavaron Sangsnit.

As of yesterday morning, 28.7 million people sought the government’s monthly stipend by registering online, which will close at midnight on April 22. After registration closes, rejected applicants can still appeal through the website, he said.

As of April 17, 21.1 million registrants were screened via the Provincial Administration Department’s database. Of the applicants, 1.8 million failed to meet criteria based on the department’s data.

Among the 21.1 million applicants, 6.3 million were asked to provide additional information, 10.6 million were rejected and the remaining 4.2 million have been approved to receive the cash giveaway for three months.

“Of the 10.6 million rejected applicants, 6 million are farmers, 920,000 are covered by the Social Security Fund, 700,000 are students and the remainder are online vendors,” he said.

The 5,000 baht in monthly handouts is mainly intended for workers or self-employed people who are not in the social security system under Section 33 and are affected by the virus outbreak, said Mr Lavaron. Recipients must be 18 or older.

The cabinet this week approved raising the number of recipients for the handout to 14 million from 9 million, bringing the budget to 210 billion baht.

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