PM assures the public that stimulus budget will be spent effectively
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has given assurance that his government is not overspending by disbursing 310 billion baht as part of an economic stimulus package and that the money will be spent effectively.
The economic cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, agreed today to allocate 310 billion baht to stimulate consumption and investment, including free handouts for low income-earners, the elderly and mothers, subsidies for farmers and cheap loans for small and medium-sized enterprises.
The Prime Minister maintained that the stimulus package was carefully thought out by all parties concerned, including the Budget Bureau and the National Economic and Social Development Board, with the global economic situation taken into consideration.
He stressed that the poor and farmers need help to ease their hardships caused by economic slowdown and drought.
“Please have trust. I will use the budget effectively and economically,” said the Prime Minister, adding, however, that if the measures are proven to be insufficient, then additional measures will be needed.
Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana told the media, after the cabinet meeting on Friday, that the handouts alone are estimated to cost about 100 billion baht, including a 1,000 baht one-time travel allowance for 10 million registered people to promote domestic tourism, 1,000 baht each for 14.6 million poor, 2,000 baht for each elderly person and 1,600 baht for a mother with children not over six years old.
On top of the travel allowance, which will be wired into their “G Wallet” bank accounts, he said that they will be refunded 15% of their additional expenditure on travel, but not exceeding 4,500 baht.
The travel allowance cannot be withdrawn in cash, but it will be deducted from the actual amount spent on travel and shopping in provinces other than their home province.
Mr. Uttama said that financial help for farmers and SMEs will cost an estimated 207 billion baht, including drought relief assistance and cost of living allowances, adding that the stimulus package will help the Thai economy achieve at least 3% growth for the whole year.