B100bn of recovery projects screened by economic agency

B100bn of recovery projects screened by economic agency

The National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) has screened the first round of 213 projects worth 101.48 billion baht out of a 400 billion baht budget earmarked to help those suffering from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thosaporn Sirisumphand, secretary-general of the NESDC, said the agency plans to meet with the cabinet on July 8 with a view to getting them started by the end of the month.

This Wednesday, the committee chaired by Mr Thosaporn will reduce the first batch to a final list worth 80 billion baht

So far, state agencies have already submitted more than 46,000 proposals worth about 1.5 trillion baht to the NESDC.

In the first round, the agency targeted projects targeting three areas -- plans to strengthen the grassroots economy, create sustainable growth and stimulate domestic consumption and tourism, he said.

Noteworthy grassroots plans include projects to promote the "New Theory", or sufficiency economy, in the agriculture sector which will cover a total of 240,000 rai.

Among the others are a scheme to hire about 16,000 volunteers or laid-off workers to take care of 700,000 elderly nationwide and a project to hire two new graduates per tambon, totalling 15,510 jobs in 7,255 tambons, to collect information for use in "big data" analysis.

Mr Thosaporn said the government also planned to strengthen community businesses via a 15.29-billion-baht injection into the National Village Fund and the Urban Community Office.

Significant projects to cultivate sustainable growth include a 16.05-billion-baht project to develop five million rai covering 5,450 large-scale farms. The aim is to implement more machinery on large-sized farms to increase the value of production by about 11 billion baht a year.

Mr Thosaporn said after the first approvals, the government hopes to create more than 410,000 jobs and pull 95,000 farmers out of poverty.

He also announced that for the rest of the 300 billion baht, the remaining 100-billion-baht batches of approvals will be announced in August, September and October.

"In implementing these projects under the 400-billion-baht scheme, the government mainly aims to alleviate impacts [of the Covid-19] by creating jobs, and not only boost the economy," he said.

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