THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


100 billion baht relief package for COVID-19 virus

100 billion baht relief package for COVID-19 virus

THAILAND: The Finance Ministry has launched a huge relief package including cash giveaways to many more individuals beyond the 14 million people with annual base incomes not exceeding 100,000 baht and who are registered as poor to help cushion fallout from the spread of the new coronavirus.

CoronavirusCOVID-19economicshealthtourism
By Bangkok Post

Thursday 5 March 2020, 01:02PM


Foreign travellers at Suvarnabhumi airport wear face masks and green plastic anoraks to protect themselves from COVID-19 as aviation agencies seek to step up the screening of passengers from countries suffering epidemics of the virus. Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul

Foreign travellers at Suvarnabhumi airport wear face masks and green plastic anoraks to protect themselves from COVID-19 as aviation agencies seek to step up the screening of passengers from countries suffering epidemics of the virus. Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul

The whole package is worth B100 billion, said Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana.

The package is an emergency relief measure and will cover all sectors, not just the tourism industry. The ministry will tomorrow submit the package to the economic cabinet for consideration.

The package includes cash handouts, the exact amount of which is yet to be determined, to individuals to help them cope with the impact of COVID-19. The amount of subsidy per head is estimated to be between B1,000-2,000.

He said the cash giveaways are earmarked for low-income earners, farmers and independent workers who have an annual base income exceeding B100,000.

Currently, there are about 14.6 million welfare smartcard holders whose average annual income are below B100,000 per year. They receive B300-500 a month in cash handouts.

The fresh package will extend the benefits to people who earn more than B100,000 but have no other welfare to reply on such as social security benefits in which company employees are members.

However, the minister has yet to unveil a ceiling for earnings under the scheme.

Mr Uttama said the government may have to cross-check information with the National Savings Fund and the Social Security Office. The recipients are required to register and subsidies will be made via the e-payment system.

After it is approved by the meeting of economic ministers, the relief package will be forwarded to the cabinet for approval.

“We decided to propose this package after assessing the global situation. It is necessary,” he said.

The finance minister said the relief package must be “big enough” to help the country reeling from the global outbreak of COVID-19. It is based on four principles: it must cover all groups of people; hit the target efficiently: be proportional to the current situation; and short-term.

Mr Uttama insisted the country’s fiscal status is sound enough to implement the aid package. He said it should be put in place immediately and cover the next three or four months.

tile-it - Phuket’s Quality Tile Boutique

Soft loans will be provided to small and medium-sized business operators by state-run banks and some of the interest absorbed by the Finance Ministry, he said. “We implemented the soft loan measure to cope with fallout from the 2004 tsunami disaster in the South,” he said.

According to Mr Uttama, commercial banks will also implement supplementary measures allowing the public more access to loans and the Bank of Thailand has loosened regulations on lending.

To deter mass layoffs and slow job losses, the government will use tax incentives, he said, adding employers will be allowed to use expenses to deduct taxes and withholding tax rates will be lowered to boost liquidity.

A fund will also be set up to provide financial assistance to people who are affected by the outbreak such as being laid-off or put under quarantine, he said.

On the capital market, the Finance Ministry has discussed the matter with the Federation of Thai Capital Market Organisations (Fetco) and agreed to revise the planned Super Savings Fund (SSF) to make it similar to the dissolved long-term equity funds (LTFs). However, this is temporary and will be effective for one year, he said.

In December last year, the cabinet approved SSFs as a new tax-saving fund to replace the LTFs whose tax incentive lapsed at the end of last year. Originally SSF investment conditions will be more relaxed than those for LTFs.

Calling the aid package as the first measure, Mr Uttama said it is not known when the impacts of the outbreak will end but the government is ready to roll out the second and the third measures if needs be.

He added the fourth phase of Chim Shop Chai scheme will now have to take a back seat and a fresh round of registration for the smart welfare card is expected to begin after the Songkran holiday.

The proposed relief package follows the cabinet’s decision last month to push back the deadline for the filing of personal income tax to support individuals and businesses hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

They have until the end of June to file taxes and those required to pay taxes are also allowed to make their payments until the end of June, as opposed to March.

Other tax measures include slashing excise tax on jet fuel from B4.726 to B0.20 a litre until Sept 30, and deductions for the cost of seminars and renovation. These could cost about B4.5 billion.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket Governor order warns of B20k fine for not wearing mask in public

We all understand that you need the revenue from advertisements to run your business PN, and we appr...(Read More)


Phuket Governor order warns of B20k fine for not wearing mask in public

Can the authorities please go to the roadblock at the Nai Harn road that goes around the lake. The...(Read More)


Governor exempts five hotels to receive new guests

One must ponder as to why these hotels were selected to stay open. I am a naturally suspicious perso...(Read More)


Patong blockade: No face mask, no entry

@DeK, yes, you wrote 'someone', indeed. Stop you insinuating nonsense. Mr Nasa writes commen...(Read More)


Phuket Governor orders ‘Patong Shutdown’

I'm wrong again, so sorry. It is 3-19 HOURS, not days lol. So sorry. ...(Read More)


Phuket Governor orders ’shut down’ for Chalong, Kathu

On another note.We do not hear anymore about water situation on Phuket island. Is this problem now n...(Read More)


Phuket officials announce just four ‘new’ cases of COVID, total hits 123

Kurt,every airport worldwide could be or is a Covid transmitting place.Same as a hospital or a supe...(Read More)


Ban on all international flights to Thailand extended

Shwe, you can find the answer in the article. I will give you a hint: " Cargo"...(Read More)


Phuket Governor orders ‘Patong Shutdown’

Keep calm everyone. Thailand is doing an amazing job under incredibly difficult circumstances. The f...(Read More)


Phuket Governor orders ‘Patong Shutdown’

No Christy, that's not correct. I've put the wrong times down. It is actually 3-19 days unde...(Read More)