Thai parliament debates Bill on US$16 billion borrowing to counter COVID-19 outbreak

Thai parliament debates Bill on US$16 billion borrowing to counter COVID-19 outbreak

FILE PHOTO: Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha arrives before a family photo session
FILE PHOTO: Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha arrives before a family photo session with new cabinet ministers at the Government House in Bangkok, Thailand, March 30, 2021. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

BANGKOK: Thailand's parliament on Wednesday (Jun 9) started debating a Bill to allow the government to borrow an additional 500 billion baht (US$16 billion) to help the tourism-reliant country deal with its latest and biggest coronavirus outbreak so far.

Southeast Asia's second-largest economy is expected to grow only 1.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent this year after last year's 6.1 per cent slump, with tourism still struggling, the government predicts.

Given the outbreak has not yet been contained, there is an urgent and unavoidable need for more funding to help quickly restore the economy to normal, Finance minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith told the House of Representatives, which plans to debate the Bill until Thursday.

Thailand's current outbreak has accounted for most of its coronavirus infections and fatalities, while it started its mass vaccination drive on Monday.

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Source: Reuters

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