BANGKOK (Xinhua) — Thailand’s Ministry of Finance on Monday said it will roll out new measures designed to boost spending from low-income groups, as well as to support small businesses, which all had been adversely affected by the COVID-19 fallout.
“We have set aside 45 billion baht (1.44 billion U.S. dollar) budget for this particular economic measure to boost consumption among grass roots people and support small businesses,” said Lavaron Sangsnit, director-general of the ministry’s Fiscal Policy Office.
Lavaron said the finance ministry is finalizing the details of the shopping stimulus.
“The concept is that each person will get about 3,000 baht (96 U.S. dollars) from the government to partially pay for his/her own goods; but consumers must buy items at small businesses,” said Lavaron, adding that small businesses are hard to survive in this challenging time.
The Bank of Thailand had earlier forecasted that the Thai economy will shrink by 8.1 percent this year largely due to the fallout from COVID-19.
Since tourism and exports are Thailand’s two most important forms of revenue, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said it is vital to promote domestic spending while the Thai skies remain closed to entries from foreign tourists.
The new economic measure is expected to be implemented from October to December, said the ministry.