Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said his ministry had been considering which stimulus packages to promote at the Dec 21 Cabinet meeting, reports state news agency NNT.
Mr Arkhom noted that one major package would focus on offering tax breaks to those with spending power, replacing the current “Ying Chai Ying Dai” stimulus program which provides cashback e-vouchers for domestic purchases.
Minister Arkhom also said domestic spending would ultimately determine whether Phase 4 of the “Khon La Khrueng” co-payment scheme ‒ which subsidizes 50% of food, drink and general goods purchases at a daily limit of B150 per recipient ‒ will launch following the conclusion of Phase 3 at the end of 2021.
According to the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC), consumer confidence rose for a third straight month in November, driven by easing COVID-19 restrictions alongside the nationwide reopening, combined with strong export growth.
On Thursday (Dec 9), the UTCC said its consumer confidence index rose to 44.9 in November from 43,9 in October, 41.4 in September and 39.6 in August, which had been the lowest level in over 20 years.
The finance minister also said he was confident that the emergence of the new Omicron coronavirus variant would not affect New Year activities, as authorities have been closely monitoring the situation and implementing public health measures accordingly.
He added that the government is prepared to inject around B1 trillion into the economy next year to shield against any potential volatility caused by the Omicron strain. Roughly B600 billion will be drawn from state investment funds while about B300bn will come from state enterprise investment funds. Another B250bn remains from the B500bn that the government borrowed through the second emergency loan decree.
The Ministry of Finance projects that the economy will expand by 1% this year and 4% in 2022, driven by higher numbers of international visitors and the steady decline of new coronavirus infections.