FPO: B758bn available for post-virus rebuilding
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FPO: B758bn available for post-virus rebuilding

Fiscal Policy Office director-general Lavaron Sangsnit
Fiscal Policy Office director-general Lavaron Sangsnit

The government has a combined annual fiscal budget of 758 billion baht for fiscal 2020 and 2021 to remedy the coronavirus crisis, says the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO).

Of the budget, there are four main portions contributing to the sum, the first batch coming from the 1-trillion-baht loan decree, with 180 billion baht reserved in case of a second virus outbreak in Thailand, said FPO director-general Lavaron Sangsnit.

If the country has to impose another round of lockdown measures, this funding can be used to help the public, Mr Lavaron said.

The second batch comes from the 400-billion-baht budget earmarked for economic and social rehabilitation under the government's 1.9-trillion-baht coronavirus relief package.

The cabinet approved a budget of 50 billion baht, and the remaining 350 billion baht can be used by the new economic team to roll out new measures in accordance with the legal framework, Mr Lavaron said.

The third and fourth batches come from an act related to the fiscal 2020 budget transfer worth 88 billion baht and a fiscal 2021 budget allocated for pandemic remedy measures worth 140 billion baht.

The new economic team can opt to use the 758 billion baht for devising new projects or economic measures to manage the economy or allocate the amount to existing projects, Mr Lavaron said.

The new cabinet ministers took their oaths of office before His Majesty the King on Wednesday, completing the process for their appointment. They attended a cabinet meeting yesterday to discuss policy.

Supattanapong Punmeechaow, who doubles as energy minister and deputy prime minister, and Finance Minister Predee Daochai are due to hand out policy frameworks to high-ranking officials at the two ministries on Monday.

The Federation of Thai Industries said recently that the government might need to borrow an additional 1 trillion baht to address the impact of the pandemic.

The funds will be used to stimulate the rural economy, which is still reeling from the crisis.

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