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Thailand to roll out more stimulus measures

Prompted by a 16 percent drop in government income and the decision to further jump start Thailand’s global crisis-impacted economy, the government will soon issue another round of economic stimulus measures, TNA reported, quoting Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij.

Acknowledging that a number of major financial institutions worldwide continue facing cash-flow problems, meaning that commercial banks abroad still require government intervention and could be taken over by their national governments, Korn said the crises could affect Thailand’s capital outflows and purchase orders.

Thailand is expected to soon introduce a group of new measures to stimulate the economy, while short-term measures to be funded by the mid-year supplemental government budget will see disbursements being made starting from late March, Korn said.

One short-term measure calls for the government to issue 2,000-baht financial supplements to private employees and civil servants earning less than 15,000 baht a month, and at the same time the Ministry of Finance is preparing to issue cheques between March 26 and April 8 to those registered under the government’s Social Security System.

The Social Security System was criticised this week being unable to help the segments of society that are most at risk.  

The government’s plan for more measures comes after the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) and the private think-tank the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) recently announced together their assessment that existing government measures to boost the economy are still insufficient and that more measures are needed.

Korn said he was informed by the Finance Ministry’s Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) that the government’s revenue collections in February fell short of the earlier target due to declining imports which had affected collections of the value added tax (VAT).

The FPO will officially announce February’s revenue collection figures next week, he said.

Thailand’s revenue collections in the first four months of fiscal 2009 (October 2008 through January 2009) dropped 16.2 percent from its earlier target and it is now projected that revenue collections during the remainder of the fiscal year will fall even further, FPO Director-General Somchai Sajjapong said earlier.

Government revenues during the first four months of fiscal 2009 were 363.73 billion baht, down some 70.47 billion baht from its earlier target, he said.





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