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Thailand’s Finance Ministry to Spend Bt300 Billion to Stimulate Economy

“We want to support the economy in the second half of the year so people have more confidence and spend money” the Finance Minister said.

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BANGKOK – Thailand’s Finance Ministry is proposing a US$10.2 billion government stimulus package to counter a slowdown in the economy.

The government should spend about Bt 300 Billion (US$10.2 billion) on the poor, farmers and middle-income earners. In order to make the national economy grow by 3% this year.

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana announced the proposal at a briefing Friday in Bangkok. The proposal needs approval from the Cabinet.

“We want to support the economy in the second half of the year so people have more confidence and spend money,” Uttama said.

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives would offer soft loans worth 55 billion baht to drought-affected farmers.

The government will raise its monthly cost-of-living subsidy for registered poor people from 200-300 baht to 500 baht. Then offer 200-300 baht a month to poor elderly people and new mothers in the rest five months of this year.

Incentive for Tourism to Stimulate Economy

To promote domestic tours, the government offers 1,000 baht for registered middle-incomers to spend on their vacations. The government will also refund 15% of the money such tourists will spend additionally.

The additional spending is capped at 30,000 baht per tourist. The measure targets 10 million people.

In addition, Government Savings Bank (GSB) and Krungthai Bank will offer soft loans worth 100 billion baht for small and medium-sized enterprises to buy machinery.

GSB and GH Bank will lend 52 billion baht for middle-income earners to buy residences and the loans will have relaxed conditions.

Under the measures, the government would inject 316 billion baht into the economy so that the economy would grow by 3% amid global economic problems this year, Mr Uttama said. He assured the measures would not breach fiscal disciplines.