JSCCIB urges govt to lift public-debt ceiling to fund crisis recovery
The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) has urged the government to lift the public debt ceiling from 60 per cent of GDP to 65-70 per cent in order to expand Covid-19 recovery measures.
A meeting of the JSCCIB assessed that the government should increase economic recovery efforts to tackle worse-than-expected damage from Covid-19, said JSCCIB chairman and Thai Bankers' Association president Payong Srivanich.
He said the stability of the business and household sectors is at risk.
Citing household debt that has soared over 90 per cent of GDP, he said households need relief to compensate for lost income during this period.
The government needs to build confidence by preparing an adequate budget for rehabilitation of the crisis-hit economy, he said. To do this, it should raise the public debt ceiling to 65-70 per cent of GDP.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) should consider easing its monetary policy with measures for financial institutions constrained by the near-zero policy rate.
JSCCIB also urged the government to allow the private sector to import vaccines freely without having to go through manufacturers, distributors or government agencies.
The Food and Drug Administration should also speed up approval of other vaccine brands without having to wait for the manufacturer to submit documents, the JSCCIB chief said.
He also urged the government to support a double tax break for the private sector to pay for the cost of purchasing rapid antigen test kits and vaccine, including allowing the private sector to help support the production and supply of the high-demand favipiravir drug.