BANGKOK (Reuters) – The Thai government expects baht 473 billion ($ 15.2 billion) to be pumped into the economy in the second half of the year after approving a stimulus package on Tuesday to mitigate the impact of a third wave of COVID-19 infections, an official said. .
The Southeast Asian country’s latest outbreak accounted for over 80% of its total infections and over 90% of deaths and has slowed domestic activity.
The 140 billion baht ($ 4.5 billion) stimulus includes cash distributions for low-income people, cash transfers through a co-payment program, and electronic vouchers for those on low incomes. spenders.
It is part of a larger 255 billion baht economic package approved by the cabinet last month.
“The measures will cover 51 million people and help maintain purchasing power … and support the economy in the second half of 2021,” Kulaya Tantitemit, head of the finance ministry’s fiscal policy office, said at the meeting. a briefing.
The measures, which are expected to be implemented from July to December, include 93 billion baht in co-payments for consumer purchases, as well as 28 billion baht in electronic vouchers for spending.
Some 16.4 billion baht in cash donations will be given to low-income people and 3 billion baht to people with special needs.
Last month, the state’s planning agency slashed its economic growth outlook for 2021 to 1.5% -2.5% from 2.5% -3.5% due to the outbreak.
According to Bank of Thailand Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput, Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy could take until the first quarter of 2023 to return to pre-COVID-19 levels, longer than previously expected.
(Reporting by Orathai Sriring, Kitiphong Thaichareon, Satawasin Staporncharnchai; editing by Ed Davies)
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