Thailand approves $ 807 million in relief, extends travel program

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BANGKOK, Sept.21 (Reuters) – The Thai cabinet on Tuesday approved an additional 27 billion baht ($ 807.17 million) in COVID-19 aid measures and extended a program to boost local travel, said officials, in an attempt to stimulate domestic activity in a struggling economy.

A fierce epidemic since April and tighter containment measures have hit consumption while the tourism sector, a key source of income and jobs, remains lackluster.

Some restrictions were relaxed from this month as infections and deaths declined and vaccinations increased.

The relief measures, such as a subsidy to public services, will be offered to holders of welfare cards, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said at a press conference.

The government has also agreed to extend support for the existing program to encourage domestic travel until the end of February as the coronavirus situation eases, he said.

Benefits include a grant of up to 3,000 baht plus a voucher of 600 baht per hotel room per night, and a grant of up to 3,000 baht on flights.

The Cabinet also approved a 468 billion baht investment budget for state-owned enterprises and their subsidiaries in fiscal year 2022 starting October 1, Deputy Government Spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said.

The investment will help boost economic growth by 0.31 percentage point and create 163,000 jobs, she added.

The government has also approved investment projects worth 1.9 billion baht to support the rural economy, deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul said.

($ 1 = 33.45 baht)

Reporting by Satawasin Staporncharnchai and Panarat Thepgumpanat Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Martin Petty

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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