Cabinet approves second relief package

Following the announcement that a state of emergency will be declared on March 26, the Cabinet has approved a second relief package for employees that have lost their jobs, and businesses that have been affected by the outbreak of coronavirus.

This includes a measure to hand out 5,000 baht per month for a period of three months for workers and part-time employees that are not registered with the social security system. The government estimated that there are around 3 million people that could be eligible for the hand out.

For workers and employees that are part of the social security system, they will receive 50 per cent of their wages for 180 days if their employer went out of business, or for 90 days if their employer was ordered to temporarily close down by the government.

The government has also set aside a soft retail loan policy with a budget of 40 billion baht at an interest rate of 0.1 per cent per month and without any guarantee needed. The loan limit is 10,000 per person, which be given out by state-owned banks and specialized financial institutions.

Another 20 billion baht budget has been set aside for people who want a loan with a 50,000 baht limit, but with an interest rate of 0.35 per month instead.

The Department of Social Development and Welfare is also accepting pledges with a low interest rate of 0.125 per cent per month with a budget of 2 billion baht.

For businesses that have been affected by the partial shutdown and the impending state of emergency, the Cabinet has approved eight measures to support them, including a supportive loan measure with a budget of 10 billion baht.

The loan will be offered by the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand with a limit of 3 million baht per loan with a 3 per cent interest rate in the first two years. The loan period can be no longer than five years. The deadline to apply for the loan is December 30. 

Businesses that are eligible for the soft loan include tour and travel agencies, spas, transport businesses, hotels, and restaurants, amongst others.

The deadline for corporate income tax payment is being extended from May until the end of August for the annual audit filing, and from August until the end of September for the half-year report. 

Other measures include extensions for all tax payments that are being collected by the Customs Department for businesses that have to close down because of government orders. The payment of excise taxes on oil will also be extended from ten to 15 days for three months. 

The duty on the import of materials and supplies needed for the research, treatment, and prevention against coronavirus will also be exempted until September 30. The list of materials and supplies will be determined by the Ministry of Public Health. 

The exemption from taxes and fees to support debt restructuring of non-financial creditors such as credit cards, personal loans, micro-loans for careers, provincial retail loans, hire purchase, leasing and other creditors entering into joint debt restructuring agreements with financial institutions are also being implemented. The exemption period will start from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021. 

Mortgage registration, transfer, and transaction fees for real estate under the Land Code are now reduced to 0.01 per cent until December 31, 2021 as well. 

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