Cabinet backs B2.25bn for job scheme

Cabinet backs B2.25bn for job scheme

New graduates first group to benefit

The cabinet on Tuesday approved the allocation of 2.25 billion baht from a central budget reserved for emergency purposes in fiscal 2021 to hire 10,000 new university graduates for one year, in a move to help people financially suffering from the coronavirus outbreak.

According to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, temporary employment is to be handled by 28 state agencies, both in central and provincial areas.

Under the scheme, new graduates will earn 18,000 baht a month.

"The new employment scheme is meant to alleviate the financial hardship of people affected by Covid-19," said Gen Prayut. "Measures to assist entrepreneurs will be decided later."

Of the approved budget, 2.10 billion baht is for monthly salary expenses and 150 million is for contributions to the Social Security Fund.

The employment scheme begins this month, he said.

Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow revealed the government is set to roll out a fresh 50% co-payment subsidy for the monthly salary of employees of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), its latest move to deter mass layoffs in the country.

The co-payment scheme should be implemented as soon as possible to assist SMEs in keeping their businesses open, he said.

According to Mr Supattanapong, the scheme will be funded by either the 300-billion-baht budget the government reserved to help people and businesses affected by the third wave of the pandemic, or the 170 billion baht reserved for stimulating investment and domestic consumption as well as maintaining employment.

The two budgets are part of the new 500-billion-baht loan decree.

He said SMEs likely to qualify for the new co-payment scheme are those that could not acquire a soft loan from the central bank's 250-billion-baht package.

The measure could last 3-9 months, said Mr Supattanapong.

In a related development, Gen Prayut said he authorised Mr Supattanapong, the Finance Ministry and the National Economic and Social Development Council to study the G7 agreement for a global minimum tax rate of at least 15%.

The agreement aims to get multinationals, especially tech giants, to pay their fair share in taxes.

The Thai premier said the agreement may affect Thailand's ability to attract foreign investment, including at its flagship Eastern Economic Corridor.

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