NESDC set to table new relief measures

NESDC set to table new relief measures

Remedy funded by B500bn loan

People flock to a supermarket on Friday before a curfew will come into force on Monday. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
People flock to a supermarket on Friday before a curfew will come into force on Monday. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

The National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) plans to table before the cabinet on Tuesday remedy measures for those affected by the strict lockdown measures that took effect on Monday, says a cabinet source who requested anonymity.

The remedy is to be funded by the 500-billion-baht emergency loan, which is expected to be adequate for the situation. The remedy measures will be implemented by the Labour and Finance ministries, the source added.

Patricia Mongkhonvanit, director-general of the Public Debt Management Office, said the government has enough financial resources to handle the impact of the pandemic.

Mrs Patricia said the Fiscal Discipline Act of 2018 does not prohibit the government from borrowing if the debt-to-GDP ratio exceeds the ceiling of 60%.

The law states the government has to provide reasons for the necessity to borrow beyond the ceiling and seek ways to return the ratio below the ceiling.

She said the debt-to-GDP ratio will remain below 60% at the end of fiscal 2021 in September even if the government fully disburses the budget from the 1-trillion-baht emergency loan, plus 100 billion baht from the 500-billion emergency loan.

Another factor that could raise the debt-to-GDP ratio is economic expansion. If the expansion is low, the debt-to-GDP ratio will increase, Mrs Patricia said.

The government already disbursed around 800 billion baht of the 1-trillion-baht loan, with the remaining amount expected to fund its existing relief measures to combat the impact of the pandemic.

If the relief measures do not fully use the budget, the leftover amount is allocated to funding future relief measures.

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