Ministry preps B200bn for new relief measure

Ministry preps B200bn for new relief measure

Details to be finalised at cabinet meeting

Pratunam market in Bangkok is quiet amid the latest outbreak of Covid-19. Apichart Jinakul
Pratunam market in Bangkok is quiet amid the latest outbreak of Covid-19. Apichart Jinakul

The Finance Ministry is preparing to inject financial aid worth around 200 billion baht to combat deteriorating economic conditions during the prolonged Covid-19 crisis.

Such financial relief will be disbursed through state-owned financial institutions by implementing policies to enhance liquidity and take care of various groups of debtors, said Kulaya Tantitemit, acting director-general of the Fiscal Policy Office.

Of the 200 billion baht, 100 billion is the leftover liquidity from first-phase government measures issued to tame adverse effects of the outbreak.

Details of the upcoming policies are scheduled to be announced after today's cabinet meeting.

It was recently reported the Finance Ministry is set to propose relief measures for cabinet approval this week to help borrowers at state-owned financial institutions in 33 provinces affected by stringent containment restrictions.

Aid measures would consist of a debt holiday, suspension of principal repayment and interest reduction, according to Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.

Regarding a measure to help people affected by the latest Covid-19 outbreak, Mr Arkhom said details are being finalised and the ministry is studying whether the measure could be a one-time money transfer similar to the co-payment subsidy scheme or the "No One Will Be Left Behind" scheme that disbursed 5,000-baht money transfers for three months.

The National Economic and Social Development Council plans to propose measures to the cabinet to reduce financial costs for the public through cutting electricity and water bills.

The government will not use budget from the annual expenditure budget of fiscal 2021 to fund the upcoming financial relief measures, but will rather use the remaining 400 billion baht from the 1-trillion-baht emergency loan decree instead, said Budget Bureau director Dechapiwat Na Songkhla. With floods in the deep South now and a possible drought later this year in other provinces, some budget is needed for disaster management, he said.

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