Agency reassures on Covid funds

Agency reassures on Covid funds

NESDC says state budget adequate

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration opened a vaccination site near Big C Bang Bon on Tuesday to facilitate public access to Covid-19 vaccines. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration opened a vaccination site near Big C Bang Bon on Tuesday to facilitate public access to Covid-19 vaccines. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

The government think tank insists the government has enough funding to rehabilitate the economy and help people affected by the pandemic.

Wanchat Suwankitti, deputy secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), said the public should not worry about the state budget's adequacy to handle the pandemic and rehabilitate the economy in 2021 and 2022.

He said the government has as much as 391 billion baht available to assist people affected by the pandemic. This includes 167 billion baht remaining from the 1-trillion-baht emergency loan decree, 98 billion from the central budget reserved for emergencies in fiscal 2021, and 89 billion to be allocated for emergencies in fiscal 2022. Moreover, 37.1 billion baht is left over from the 40.3 billion earmarked in the central budget for fiscal 2019 to assist people affected by the pandemic.

In a separate development, the cabinet on Tuesday approved measures to raise funding through other channels in addition to the annual budget. The measures include increasing public-private partnerships, the Thailand Future Fund and more borrowing to finance social and economic development.

Last week, the NESDC proposed all state agencies halt development proposals funded by the emergency loan decree because the government is reserving the remainder to fight Covid-19 infections.

The NESDC reported last week following consultation with the Finance Ministry and Budget Bureau, they all agreed the government should stop applications for funding from the loan decree, particularly under the economic and social rehabilitation programmes.

According to the NESDC, the government has endorsed 833 billion baht as of May 18 under the 1-trillion-baht loan decree.

The government originally planned to allocate 400 billion baht under the 1-trillion-baht emergency loan decree for social and economic rehabilitation efforts, but recently it redirected 45 billion to help those affected by the second wave.



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