Thai government adds COVID-19 to national agenda
The Thai government today declared COVID-19 part of the national agenda and agreed to adjust the current fiscal budget, by increasing the Central Fund and procuring additional funding, estimated at one trillion baht, from domestic sources to fight the pandemic and to rehabilitate the heavily damaged economy.
Details of the budgetary revamp and the securing of extra funding, mainly from the Bank of Thailand, will be published at a later date, said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha after the cabinet meeting today. Matters discussed included an increase of the Central Fund by 80-100 billion baht, an executive decree for the management of the Bank of Thailand’s reserve funds, amounting to about 900 billion baht, and another executive decree to allow the Government to secure a one trillion baht loan.
The Prime Minister assured that they will not seek the loan from external sources.
About 600 billion baht will go towards pandemic-related health care and 400 billion baht to economic rehabilitation.
The Government is determined to take care of the health of all Thais, said the Prime Minister as he pleaded with the public to understand that the Government has budgetary constraints.
Regarding Thais abroad, the Prime Minister said he does not want to see all of them returning within a compressed time span, otherwise their arrival will overwhelm the heath-care system.
The cabinet, meanwhile, acknowledged the Education Ministry’s proposal to postpone the opening of the new semester, from May 16th to July 1st. The Ministry will consult with CCSA about the COVID-19 situation and may adjust of the opening date again.