Thailand approves 3rd stimulus package worth US$60.5 billion
Announced on April 7, the package would allocate 600 billion baht (US$19.1 billion) to health-related plans and financial aid to affected people. This includes the 5,000 baht (US$159) in monthly handouts to an estimated 9 million self-employed and laid-off people, which will be extended to six months from three months previously.
Finance minister Uttama Savanayana said, “It is not clear how long the outbreak will drag on for, so the government has decided to extend the relief period to help affected people.”
Another 400 billion baht (US$12.7 billion) would finance projects targeted to create jobs, strengthen communities and build infrastructure.
In addition, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) will be authorised to extend 500 billion baht (US$15.9 billion) in soft loans with a 2% annual interest rate to help SMEs, with a credit line of no more than 500 million baht (US$15.9 million) each.
A further 400 billion baht (US$12.7 billion) would be allocated to set up a Corporate Bond Liquidity Stabilization Fund (BSF) – a special lending scheme that allows the BOT to buy corporate bonds through the BSF to ensure sufficient liquidity in the market.
The amount of 1.9 trillion baht (US$60.5 billion) accounts for 9% of the country’s gross domestic product, said Uttama, according to Bangkok Post.