Thai businesses call for doubling of Covid co-payment scheme

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Thailand’s private sector called on the government to double the credit amount of the co-payment scheme on Wednesday to inject more liquidity into an economy made sluggish by the third wave of Covid-19.

The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) held a meeting to assess the Thai economic situation.

The government should provide more accessible policies to boost public spending and speed up the vaccine roll-out, especially to revive the country’s tourist destinations, said Payong Srivanich, chairman of the Thai Bankers’ Association.

Under the third phase of the co-payment scheme, where participants receive half of purchase prices up to 150 baht a day, the JSCCIB said the government should consider increasing the ceiling to 6,000 baht instead of 3,000 baht.

This would inject an additional 180 billion baht of liquidity into the economy, said the JSCCIB, adding that the cashback e-vouchers campaign should also be adjusted to be more accessible.

For the economic outlook, the group maintained its growth projection for Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) at a range of 0.5 – 2 per cent, and exports growth at 5 – 7 per cent, the same as a month earlier.

In May the JSCCIB cut its GDP growth forecast from April’s outlook of 1.5-3 per cent as the reported daily Covid-19 infections rates soared.

“The third-wave crisis has reached its final stage. But we must make every effort to avoid further damage,” Payong added.

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