Finance Ministry plans more tourism stimuli to boost rural economies

Thailand’s Finance Ministry is considering extending the Thiew Pan Sook (Happiness Sharing Tour) program to cover community and agriculture based tourism, while providing tourism operators and airlines with access to soft loans.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak stressed the need for the Government use additional measures to spur the slowing domestic economy, in wake of a global economic slump, to provide employment for many Thais who have returned to their home provinces, following the closure of businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He told the media today that he has instructed the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) to hasten the implementation of projects under the 400 billion baht economic rehabilitation program, with top priority to be given to those which create jobs in rural areas.

Dr. Somkid chaired a meeting today with Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana, Bank of Thailand Governor Veerathai Santipraphob, representatives from the NESDB and the private sector, which included the Thai Bankers Association, the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Thai Industries.

The Deputy Prime Minister said that providing access to soft loans to tourism operators and airlines will help improve their liquidity and prevent a repeat of the closures suffered during the “tom yum gung” economic crisis of 1997.

Mr. Uttama, meanwhile, said he has instructed the NESDB and the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation to develop measures, to guarantee the credit to be extended to small and medium-sized enterprises, and to extend the period of debt repayments for SMEs.

Regarding the extension of the Thiew Pan Sook tourism scheme, the Finance Minister said that the Revenue Department is in the process of formulating measures to encourage consumers to spend on travel and tourism activities, adding that he said he expects a clearer picture of the plans by the middle of this month.

He insisted that the tourism stimuli are not intended to spur the economy, but to create or maintain jobs in the tourism sector.

As for the final group of 1.2 million welfare card holders, who are yet to receive any Government subsidies, Mr. Uttama said that they will each get 3,000 baht wired to their bank accounts between July 4th and 7th.


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