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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

NBTC sets aside 1 billion baht to help battle virus




“The assistance will only be given for tasks in the fight against the outbreak and the recipients cannot spend the money on other purposes.”

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission(NBTC) has announced a reserve of 1 billion Baht for medical facilities and public health agencies in the fight against the Covid-19 outbreak. This is due to 130 state hospitals seeking financial assistance from the government.

The budgetary assistance from Thailand’s telecommunications regulator is the first of government departments, other than the Health Ministry, digging into their pockets at this time.

The NBTC announced that the sum will be drawn from the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Research Fund (BTRF) and it’s fiscal 2020 budget, and will be deducted from the NBTC’s overseas study trips, travel expenses for management and board, as well as planned seminars.

The NBTC is hoping their example will set a precedent for other state agencies to consider dividing their budget to aid the fight against Thailand’s Covid-19 outbreak.

The secretary-general of the NBTC, Takorn Tantasith, says the agency was looking for other financial sources under its management to support state hospitals in need of assistance.

“The planned 1 billion baht may not be enough as the number of state hospitals seeking assistance is much higher than expected, the government may also have to consider redirecting budget from ministries, especially for their seminars, to fight against the pandemic.”

“We must quickly provide money for the hospitals to ease their suffering as the first priority under the Covid-19 crisis,

“The BTRF board will start looking into proposals lodged by state hospitals next week and is expected to gradually approve qualified hospitals and consider how much money will be given.”

“Hospitals or public health agencies that need financial assistance can contact the regulator’s BTRF,  hospitals can apply for financial assistance from the NBTC until June.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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