Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Cabinet nods to Bt316-bn stimulus measures

Aug 20. 2019
Uttama Savanayana
Uttama Savanayana
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By THE NATION

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The Cabinet approved economic stimulus packages totaling Bt316-billion at a meeting today, said Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana.

The measures are expected to boost economic growth by 0.55 per cent to keep the country’s GDP growth target for 2019 at 3 per cent.

   Among the packages approved included those aiming to ease the living conditions of 14.6 million state welfare card holders .

   Under the scheme, the government will hand out additional cash of Bt500 per person per month to the card holders between now and end of September. 

   Elderly citizens, who are card holders, will be given an additional Bt500 per person per month.  

   Card holders with children, from infants to 6-year old,  will be given an additional Bt300 per month as financial support between now and end of next month. 

   The Cabinet also approved measures aimed at boosting domestic consumption and investment. including the  "Taste, Shop, Use" scheme, which will see a cash handout of Bt1,000 each to the  e-wallet of the eligible people to cover the expense of travel outside their home towns. The Finance Ministry will soon commence the registration process. 

   An eligible person must be at least 18-year old on the date of registration. Another measure is the 15 per cent cash rebate on their travel and food expense as well as purchases of local products. The rebate is capped at of Bt4,500 per person.

   According to a Finance Ministry's statement on Tuesday, the purchases of  such products and services abovementioned have to be done via Krungthai Bank's e-banking application Paotang  at shops installed with the Thung Ngern Pracha Rat (Pracha Rat money bag) application.

  Other approved measures were aimed at easing the plight of farmers suffering from drought,  such as cutting the loan interest rate to a certain level for farmers who are clients of the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) in the drought-hit provinces. 

   The bank will also grant emergency loans of Bt50,000 per person to these farmers under a Bt50 billion budget. The bank will waive interestrate in the first year before charging an minimum retail rate (MRR) of 7 per cent in the following years.

   It will also provide loans for damage recovery at Bt500,000 per person at the MRR-2 rate under a Bt50 billion budget.

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