Thailand: Tourism aid headed to economic cabinet

  • Large-scale measures to help tourism-related operators and employees affected by the coronavirus epidemic are set to go before the economic cabinet on 6 Mar 20.
  • The package launch is aimed at helping tourism-related operators and employees get through this hard period, said Lavaron Sangsnit, director of the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO).
  • The package will comprise both financial and non-financial measures to enable the tourism workforce to earn a living, he said.
  • The package will include THB100bn in soft loans for tourism-related operators and training courses in return for income to help workers in the industry with daily expenses.
  • The soft loans, sponsored by Government Savings Bank, would be offered through commercial banks with an interest rate of 3-4% to tourism-related operators facing a liquidity crunch, while the government would also relax debt repayment conditions for those who retained enough liquidity to prevent them from laying off employees.
  • The government is able to use measures to keep the economy at full throttle after the fiscal 2020 budget bill came into force, he said, as inflation remains subdued, public debt is low and state agencies must take out fiscal budget for the remaining 6-7 months.
  • The FPO is poised to downgrade its 2.8% forecast for full-year GDP growth in Apr 20, as containment of the coronavirus is expected to take longer than three months.
  • Although some parties have predicted economic growth falling short of 1% in 1Q20, these projections did not account for the availability of fiscal 2020 budget, Mr Lavaron said.

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