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Government plans COVID cash handout

Government plans COVID cash handout

THAILAND: The government plans to spend B45 billion on B3,000 cash handouts to 15 million people affected by the economic fallout caused by COVID-19, which is expected to inject a cash flow of about B90bn in the economy and boost domestic consumption.

CoronavirusCOVID-19economics
By Bangkok Post

Thursday 3 September 2020, 08:02AM


Health officials conduct a drill on responses to a COVID-19 spread in Phayao province yesterday (Sept 2). Photo: Saiarun Pinaduang.

Health officials conduct a drill on responses to a COVID-19 spread in Phayao province yesterday (Sept 2). Photo: Saiarun Pinaduang.

Danucha Pichayanan, deputy scretary-general of the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council, said yesterday (Sept 2) that a meeting of the Centre for the Administration of the Economic Situation Affected by COVID-19, approved an economic stimulus measure proposed by the Finance Ministry.

Under the measure, the government will give B3,000 cash handouts to people to buy consumer goods.

They are required to register for the cash and the money will be transferred through the Pao Tang app’s G-wallet app, similar to the Chim Shop Chai (taste-shop-spend) relief scheme, Mr Danucha said.

The Finance Ministry will prepare details of the cash handouts scheme to present to the centre again and the measure is expected to be implemented from next month until the end of the year, he said.

The measure is aimed at helping 15 million people. Spending under the measure will be initially capped at 100-250 per person per day, he said.

For shops and businesses that want to join the programme, priority will be given to small entrepreneurs, as well as street vendors and hawkers, Mr Danucha said.

The cash handouts are intended to ease the burden of rising living costs, boost domestic consumption and help more than 80,000 small entrepreneurs, street vendors and hawkers, Mr Danucha said, adding the government will subsidise 50% of their spending.

The measure is expected to stimulate cash flow of about B90bn in the economy and boost the economy by 0.25%, he added.

Meanwhile, the Centre for the Administration of the Economic Situation Affected by COVID-19 also approved the Labour Ministry’s request for B23.47bn to hire new graduates.

Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin told the media his proposed project for hiring new graduates was approved by the centre.

The next step will see the project sent to the National Economics and Social Development Council, which will work on the project.

The B23.47bn will come from the B400bn loan borrowed by the Finance Ministry to tackle the economic effects of the pandemic.

The minister said the project was the right solution to the unemployment problem faced by new graduates.

Under the budget, 260,000 new graduates nationwide are expected to be hired for 12 months, from Oct 1 this year to Sept 30, 2021, with the government paying 50% of their monthly salary based on their highest education level but not exceeding B7,500 per person.

Graduates qualified for the project must be Thai nationala aged under 25 years old.

Those who are older than 25 years must graduate during 2019–2020.

The second part of the project is the “Thailand Job Expo 2020” job fair tentatively scheduled to take place at the end of this month.

Around one million positions in the public and private sectors will be available at the event. Candidates and jobs will be matched using the platform “Thai Mee Ngan Tham” (Thais Have Jobs).

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior has instructed all provinces to organise a walking street to promote tourism and revive the grassroots economy, while strictly complying with preventive measures imposed by the Centre for COVID-19 Administration Centre (CCSA).

The event must be held at least once a month, said permanent secretary for Interior Chatchai Phromlert.

The meeting also approved new ministerial regulations governing state procurement to support small-and medium-sized entrepreneurs and promote the use of domestically made materials.

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