On March 10, Thailands cabinet approved a stimulus package that is worth an estimated $12.7 billion. According to sources, this step was taken in an effort to help alleviate the severe impact of the coronavirus epidemic on an economy that is already faltering. Global trade and tourism, which was the bright spot of its economy has been greatly impacted by the outbreak.
Around 53 positive coronavirus cases have been reported in Thailand and it has also reported one death caused by the virus. The package that has been approved by the government includes soft loans, a fund and tax benefits for those that have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
There was no mention of cash handouts for low-income earners and independent workers as was previously announced. According to sources, the project is expected to inject 400 billion baht ($12.74) billion into the economy in an effort to revitalise it. As per reports, Lavaron Sangsnit, a senior finance ministry official told local media that the government was prepared to inject more if necessary.
During a news conference, Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana stated that the stimulus package includes 150 billion baht of soft loans at only 2 per cent interest rates, there will also be another 30 billion of lending from the security fund at a rate of 3 per cent. Reports also indicated that the government will offer businesses options for relaxed debt repayments and lower interest rates for businesses. The central bank of Thailand has also asked banks to help debtors.
Reports have also indicated that the government will be providing support for utility costs and higher tax benefits from some long-term fund investments to boost the stock market. The government will also be setting up a 20 billion baht fund in an effort to help firms and workers that have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.