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Airlines offered drop in landing fees and fuel excise at Thai airports

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Airlines offered drop in landing fees and fuel excise at Thai airports | The Thaiger
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Airlines, international and domestic, have been hit hard with the impact on travel following the Coronavirus outbreak. Over the past month there’s been daily announcements of cancellations of flights and rescheduling to cope with border closures and daily changes in the coronavirus evolution.

The Thai Cabinet yesterday approved a relief package which had been proposed by the Transport Ministry for airlines struggling with the downscaling of flight schedules.

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob announced that there would be a 50% reduction in landing and parking fees for all Thai and foreign planes from April 1 to December 31.

There will also be an extension of the reduction in jet fuel excise up to the end of this year, extended from September 30.

Nitinai Sirismatthakarn, the Airports of Thailand president, says passenger numbers have crashed in recent weeks. In February there was already a 27.7% drop in passenger traffic, compared to the same month last year.

From March 1 to 16, the number fell 49% and was as low as 60% on some days.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

2020 fiscal budget emergency fund running dry – Budget Bureau

Anukul

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2020 fiscal budget emergency fund running dry – Budget Bureau | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Dechapiwat na Songkhla, director of Thailand's Budget Bureau - nationthailand.com

“The emergency fund of 96 billion baht from the fiscal 2020 budget has been nearly used up,” according to Dechapiwat na Songkhla, the director of Thailand’s Budget Bureau.

Dechapiwat explains that the budget includes…

  • 18 billion baht to help people who are affected by Covid-19 and drought,
  • 45 billion baht for cash handouts, and…
  • 2 billion baht as compensation of interest for the Government Housing Bank.

“The Bureau will report the matter to the Cabinet on Tuesday (tomorrow) and if the government does not make a decision soon, we might not have enough funds for additional measures to cope with Covid-19 and the drought problem as well.”

“The Bureau will propose 2 approaches to solve this problem.

The first approach is to have the Ministry of Finance issue an emergency loan decree. However, this approach will need to consider whether it complies with the constitution, as Section 140 stipulates the emergency loan decree only allowed for expenditures approved in the budget spending list. And the Constitution’s Section 172 stipulates that loans for emergencies can be immediately approved. This approach may take some time, as we will need the Constitutional Court’s ruling first.”

The second approach is to have the Cabinet issue the Budget Transfer Act to transfer unused budget from government agencies that have leftover budget or no immediate projects to use it in the next few months for an emergency fund. This approach can be done faster and has no legal obstacles.

“However, it is up to the Cabinet to consider which approach to use to fix the problem.”

SOURCE: The Nation

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Fruit exporters urge Thai growers to maintain sanitary standards

Anukul

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Fruit exporters urge Thai growers to maintain sanitary standards | The Thaiger
PHOTO: thaifood.robinramp.com

“Despite the Covid-19 crisis having a large negative impact on the economy, exports of fresh fruit from Thailand are still operational as demand from China continues, fruit exporters have urged Thai growers to ensure higher sanitary standards to protect the industry from the effects of the pandemic.”

This from the president of Thai Fresh Fruit Traders and Exporters Association, Paiboon Wongchotesathit.

To safeguard the export market, Paiboon urged exporters to apply high sanitary standards to ensure that the shipments are not tainted with the Covid-19 virus, especially fruit like durian, longan and mangosteen which are the main fruits that Thailand imports. He also asks exporters to make sure that workers wear face masks and to supply hand gel for food pickers and packers so their hands are frequently cleansed.

“If the workers are infected and transmit the virus to customers through droplets on products, the whole export industry will be ruined.”

On a positive note, according to Paiboon, currently, durian prices range from 145 to 150 baht per kilogram, higher than last year’s rate of 130 to 135 baht per kilogram and given the fruit’s popularity in China, the number of exporters have risen to 1,000 business operators from 300 (3 years ago).

“Fruit exports, especially durian, will be able to achieve growth this year because Chinese consumers are likely to cut back on travel and focus on import and export.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Economy

BOT predicts 5.3% contraction in Thai economy for 2020

The Thaiger

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BOT predicts 5.3% contraction in Thai economy for 2020 | The Thaiger

Even the Thai economy, which was still maintaining respectable growth before January, is now spluttering under the siege of the Covid-19 virus.

Now the Bank of Thailand has crunched some numbers and believes the Thai economy will sharply contract by 5.3% this year as the virus continues to weigh on global financial markets, the local economy and people. GDP growth for 2019 stood at a low 2.4%.

The BOT Monetary Policy Committee speculates that the Thai economy will contract 5.3% for 2020 before hopefully rebounding with 3% growth next year.

Don Nakornthab, senior director at Bank of Thailand’s economic & policy department, says the Banks’s Monetary Policy Committee has voted to maintain benchmark rate at 0.75%.

“The coronavirus outbreak has been impacting Thai tourism and exports to a large extent. The number of tourist arrivals was expected to contract by 60% this year while the economies of our trading partners would slow down or enter into recession if the Covid-19 pandemic persists for a prolonged period.”

“Government stimulus packages, businesses and people’s adaptations to the situation hold the key to the direction of the local economy.”

SOURCE: The Nation

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