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Thailand outlines $3.2 billion stimulus to alleviate Wuhan coronavirus impact

Christian Fernsby |
Thailand today outlined a stimulus package, estimated to be worth more than $3.2 billion, to mitigate the impact of Wuhan coronavirus outbreak on activity in an already flagging economy.

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The package, approved by the economic cabinet, includes cash handouts, soft loans and other financial assistance, and tax benefits, Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana told reporters after a meeting of economic ministers.

“It’s a temporary, broad based package to help various groups,” he said.

The value of the package was not given today.

Financial support for businesses includes soft loans at 2% interest rates, debt moratorium and delayed debt repayments, and lower utilities expenses and other costs, Uttama said.

The government will give 2,000 baht each to low income earners, farmers and independent workers, he said.

It will offer higher tax benefits on some long term fund investments to support the stock market.

Measures to help airlines will be considered later, said Kobsak Pootrakool, secretary to the economic cabinet.

He said first quarter economic performance would not be good, with the epidemic currently slashing foreign tourist numbers by about 50%.

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