Thailand: Pandemic fiscal aid package to come from ministry budgets

  • The government is set to appropriate 10% of the fiscal 2020 budgets of each ministry for a central fund to fight the pandemic and rehabilitate the economy.
  • The plan is part of a third round of government measures to stem the impact of the outbreak. These measures will focus on people living in rural areas, and stabilising the financial and capital markets.
  • Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said the central fund will be managed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, empowered by the state of emergency decree. The total budget allocated to all ministries amounted to THB1.98tr in the fiscal year 2020.
  • The Education Ministry had the largest budget at THB368bn, followed by interior at THB353bn, finance at THB249bn, defence at THB233bn and transport at THB178bn.
  • According to Mr Somkid, these contributions will be one of two key sources of funding to cope with the pandemic and revitalise the economy.
  • The other is borrowing from domestic financial institutions. The government may issue an executive decree or bill allowing this borrowing, he said, with responsible agencies working on the legality of appropriating the funding.
  • “The public debt-to-GDP ratio is 43%, well below the ceiling of 60% set by the government’s fiscal sustainability framework,” said Mr Somkid.

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