JSCCIB asks for stimulus continuation

JSCCIB asks for stimulus continuation

A food vendor advertises the co-payment scheme, part of efforts to revive the sluggish economy. Varuth Hirunyatheb
A food vendor advertises the co-payment scheme, part of efforts to revive the sluggish economy. Varuth Hirunyatheb

Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) is urging the government to extend its economic stimulus campaigns for 3-6 months to continue ongoing efforts to boost spending.

The call is being made as the economy has not fully recovered in the wake of the pandemic.

The JSCCIB says the country still needs fiscal-monetary injections, even though experts believe the economy will get better next year.

JSCCIB member and Federation of Thai Industries chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree said the panel wants the government to use the stimulus packages as a tool to drive the economy forward.

"We Travel Together and co-payment campaigns as well as measures to help small and medium-sized enterprises are all great," he said. "They really contribute to the economy."

The campaign, which will run until Jan 31 next year, is aimed to bolster the tourism sector by subsidising 40% of hotel expenditure and airfares for Thai travellers.

The co-payment scheme has the government paying for 50% of food, drink and general goods purchases of up to 150 baht per person daily, capped at 3,000 baht per person, from Oct 31 to Dec 31.

JSCCIB also suggested the government speed up borrowing money from financial institutions and use it to fuel the economy.

"JSCCIB is aware that the government is worried about taking on further public debt, but the more the government spends, the more the economy gets stimulated," said Mr Supant.

This is the right time to make loan deals because the interest rate is relatively low, he said, adding that Thailand has a good credit rating from many financial institutions.

JSCCIB member and Thai Chamber of Commerce chairman Kalin Sarasin said the group expects a better economic outlook next year, with exports expanding by 3-5%, GDP growing by 2-4% and inflation ranging between 0.8-1.2%.

The prediction is based on a global economic recovery and Covid-19 vaccine distribution.

Speaking at a separate event, Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow said he believes the economy will continue to recover in the next 12-18 months. The country should use this opportunity to improve its industry structure to raise its competitiveness, he said.

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