Monday, September 28, 2020

Bt150 bn soft loans, tax cut on offer to virus-hit businesses

Mar 10. 2020
 Finance Minister Uttama Savanayna
Finance Minister Uttama Savanayna
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By THE NATION

The Cabinet today (March 10) approved a slew of phase 1 relief measures for businesses, households and individuals hit hard by the Covid-19 outbreak, said Finance Minister Uttama Savanayna.

Topping the measures is the offer of Bt150 billion in soft loans with an interest rate of not exceeding 2 per cent for the first two years. Companies can apply for the loans capped at Bt20 million each .

The Bank of Thailand will relax rules governing commercial banks' lending while witholding tax will be cut to 1.5 per cent from 3 per cent during April to September this year.

These businesses are also eligible for corporate tax deduction on employee salaries at three times the total cost.

Meanwhile, state-owned banks will suspend principle loan payments, cut interest rate and extending debt repayment period for affected clients.

The state agencies will consider lowering rental fees on land or extending the deadlines on payment.

Other measures include the refund of electricity meter deposit to 21.5 million households and Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMES), totalling Bt30 billion.

The Finance Ministry has also discussed with the Budget Bureau to set up a Bt20 billion fund to mitigate impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, such as mass unemployment or business closures.

Government deputy spokesperson Traisulee Traisoranakul said the Cabinet has yet to consider an extension to the waiver of visa- on- arrival fee for tourists from 19 destinations, which will expire on April 30 this year.

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