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Govt needs longer term post-Covid recovery strategy: Banthoon


The government needs a back-up plan to help people in case the Covid-19 crisis drags on, Kasikornbank chair emeritus Banthoon Lamsam said in an interview with Krungthep Thurakij newspaper.

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He said that though the immediate job is to restart the economy, the authorities also need to carefully consider the extent to which restrictions will be eased and how to prevent a second wave of infections.
Banthoon noted that another big challenge is pinpointing the groups of people that are suffering the most from the crisis and finding out how their problems can be solved without using too many resources.
Since the impact is has been huge, the government also needs to think carefully about how long it can continue providing financial support to those affected. He said at this point, some affected people might be thinking that the government will keep launching support measures indefinitely, which is why the state should explain to the public that everything has a limit and schemes can only be introduced up to a certain level.
However, he said, the government must not forget the poor if the situation drags on and the Bt5,000 cash handouts run out. The government also needs to see if it will be able to find new funds for the assistance or if it needs to come up with a new scheme.
Banthoon also suggested that the government set up food banks that are easily accessible. This way, he said, at least people will have food on their plate.
He also said that the government needs to think ahead and work out where it will find extra finances once the planned Bt1 trillion loan has been used up. He said the government is in dire need for a back-up plan, and should call different parties to brainstorm on the issue. He also said that the powers that be should shift from money-based solutions to other options.
Also, the government needs to come up with ideas on how people will earn a living once the outbreak ends and how the country’s competitiveness can be improved.

Published : May 06, 2020

By : THE NATION