InfoQuest (August 20, 2019) -- According to the Information Office of Chaeng Watthana Government Complex, a 316 billion Thai baht pump-priming policy which was already passed at the economic cabinet meeting last week was deliberated and approved at today's cabinet meeting chaired by Thai Prime Minister and Defense Minister Prayiut Chan-o-cha. This policy is expected to help boost Thai economic growth by 0.55 percent, and set the economic growth rate for the whole year on track towards not less than 3 percent.
The following three aspects will be the focus of the policy:
The first is to subsidize drought-stricken farmers. Every drought-stricken farmer can get an emergency loan of 50,000 Thai baht which is interest-free for the first year and will charge interest at an annual MRR of 7 percent from the second year on, and a production recovery loan of 500,000 Thai baht which will charge interest at an annual MRR of minus 2 percent; the repayment period for relevant loans borrowed from the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) will be extended; a rice production subsidy of 500 to 800 Thai baht per rai (1,600 square meters) for 2019/2020 with a cap of 20 rai will be provided.
The second is to stimulate domestic investment and consumption. A cross-province "Tasting, Shopping and Consuming" tourism stimulus measure will be introduced to offer a travel fund of 1,000 Thai baht/person to 10 million Thais aged 18 and above who have applied on the Krung Thai Bank app; a 15% refund rate will be available for whoever has spent a combined total of less than 30,000 Thai baht in local products, food, accommodation, etc.; Chinese and Indian tourists will be exempted from visa costs to boost international tourism; a tax policy will be launched to promote domestic investment by, for example, deducting the cost of purchasing machines from the scope qualified for the preferential tax policy of 1.5 times of 5-year investment amount of enterprises; the loan period for SMEs will be extended to seven years; the government has issued a total of 1 billion Thai baht loans to SMEs through Krung Thai Bank (KTB) and Government Savings Bank (GSB), the Government Housing Bank (GHB) has issued a total of 52 billion Thai baht housing loans, and the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation (TCG) has exempted SMEs from credit guarantee fees for the first two years.
The third is to subsidize the cost of living through the national welfare card mechanism. In the past two months (June to August), the living allowance for cardholders was increased by 500 baht per person per month, that for the elderly by 500 baht per person per month, and that for the newborn by 300 baht per person per month; the principal repayment period for National Village and Urban Community Fund (UCDF) from BAAC and GSB will be extended by one year (from October 2019 to September 2020) to spur more people to borrow loans from UCDF. So far, the combined outstanding debt of 50,732 UCDF branches all over the nation from BAAC and GSB has reached 67 billion Thai baht.
In addition, other topics were also discussed at the meeting, including the bill drafted under the proposal of the Secretariat of the Cabinet for the first parliamentary meeting in 2019; the proposal of holding the first Asian football competition for students under 18 in Bangkok in 2019 and related meetings submitted by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports; the Regulations on the Employment of Foreigners 2019-2020 submitted by the Ministry of Labour; the proposal of approving the agricultural subsidy budget related to the Project for Promoting Organic Rice Production 2018 submitted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.
Moreover, the meeting also deliberated the appointment of some government officials, such as Ms. Ratchada Thanadirek and Ms. Traisulee Traisoranakul who were appointed as deputy spokespersons of the Office of the Prime Minister.
Source: InfoQuest, by Tanit Tongnok / Tanawat / Sasithorn, translated by Xinhua Silk Road Notice: No person, organization and/or company shall disseminate or broadcast the above article on Xinhua Silk Road website without prior permission by Xinhua Silk Road.