Thai Cabinet approves $4.46 billion plan for reviving coronavirus-hit economy

Thailand has introduced billions of dollars worth of measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
Thailand has introduced billions of dollars worth of measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Thailand's Cabinet on Wednesday (July 8) approved a budget of up to 100 billion baht (S$4.46 billion) for projects aimed at reviving an economy hit by the coronavirus outbreak, the Prime Minister said.

The projects will mainly support households and farmers as well as provide jobs, Mr Prayut Chan-o-cha told a briefing.

"This is the first phase that will cover many stages of projects... and we will prepare the second phase," he said.

The Cabinet approved 186 projects worth about 92.4 billion baht for strengthening the economy and boosting consumption and tourism, a government document showed.

These will be financed by the government's one trillion baht borrowing for easing the outbreak impact - of that, 400 billion baht will be for the restoration of the economy.

Earlier, the state planning agency said it would propose to the Cabinet projects worth about 80 billion baht, which would create more than 400,000 jobs.

Thailand has introduced billions of dollars worth of measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on South-east Asia's second-largest economy, which the central bank has forecast will contract by a record 8.1 per cent this year.

Tourism, a key driver of Thai growth, is expected to suffer from an 80 per cent plunge in foreign tourist numbers this year, an industry body says.