Government rolls out three new economic stimulus packages

(Photo) Facebook/Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana

In yet another attempt to boost the economic growth rate, from Q3’s 2.4%, the cabinet today rolled out three new stimulus packages to ease a backlog of 270,000 unsold condominium units, help rice farmers cover harvesting costs and strengthen the grassroots economy.

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana told a news conference this afternoon that the Government will use about 33 billion baht from the national budget to implement the packages, but he said he was not sure by how much the packages will help improve the growth rate, saying that it will be assessed after the launch of the measures.

The first package is intended to help real estate developers sell their surplus units by offering a 50,000 baht “giveaway” down payment incentive to buyers, each of whom must have a monthly income not exceeding 100,000 baht, and must be listed in the Revenue Department’s record of taxpayers.

The number of buyers will be limited to 100,000 and the 50,000 baht “giveaway” will be on a first come first serve basis. The program will start on November 27th and last until March 31st 2020.

Those who complete the legal process of purchasing a condominium by November 27th will be eligible to a 50,000 baht refund of their down payment, but they will be required to register at the website www.บ้านดีทีมีดาวน์.com from December 11th.

Finance Minister Uttama said this housing stimulus package will cost the tax payer about 5 billion baht, and refunds will be wired into the accounts of the buyers through the PromptPay application by the Government Housing Bank.

To help farmers cover harvesting and rice quality improvement costs for the 2019-20 crop year, each household will receive 500 baht per 0.06 hectares, up to a maximum of 1.2 hectares or 10,000 baht.  About 4.57 million farming households will benefit from this package, with payments to commence September 30th 2020. The Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) will make the payments, totalling 28 billion baht, and will be refunded later by the government.

The third package is to boost the grassroots economy and is divided into three sub-projects, namely a village fund for 71,742 villages graded A, B and C.  Each will receive 200,000 baht to invest in community rice barns, space to dry crops, rice mills, organic fertilizer, water sources or machinery for processing farm products. There is also the Credit for Community Business project under which the BAAC will provide credit lines, amounting to 50 billion baht, to Village Funds and urban communities for investment in small businesses. The credit line will be for three years at an annual interest rate of 0.01%.  The program will start on December 1st and end on November 30th 2023.

The one year debt moratorium will be for members of Village Funds and urban communities.

These new measures come on top of the Government’s recent three phase Chim-Shop-Chai stimulus package.

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