The National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) has explained the undertaking of economic and social rehabilitation under a 1-trillion-baht loan decree.
In response to many sides commenting that disbursement of the funds was slow, the NESDC Deputy Secretary-General, Danucha Pichayanan, said the council serves as the loan screening committee’s secretary, and the budget focuses on three aspects. They include addressing problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic, helping and compensating affected people, farmers and entrepreneurs, and restoring the country’s economy and society.
After the loan decree came into force in April 2020, government agencies acted quickly to provide assistance and compensation to people, farmers and entrepreneurs affected by the adverse impact of COVID-19. The loan screening committee has attached importance to related plans and projects, as proposed by the Ministry of Finance. The cabinet ministers have approved spending to help more than 30 million people in different sectors, while there are 45 million people who are eligible for government assistance.
The total budget is 344.73 billion baht, with 86.24 percent of this amount having been disbursed. The budget has not been fully disbursed because many people’s qualifications are short of requirements.
The 400-billion-baht economic and social restoration plan is divided into four phases, to support the cabinet in the event that additional funding is needed to address medical and public issues. In addition, it is not known when a vaccine will be readily available. In the first phase, starting in July, jobs were created to strengthen local economies, bring prosperity to the region and stimulate spending in the country, using a budget of 92 billion baht. The plan is aimed at providing job security to some 95,000 farmers, increasing areas for the New Theory of Farming application by 38,400 hectares, improving 5,450 plots of farmland, and creating added value of 11 billion baht annually.
Mr. Danucha said the cabinet recently approved 229 related projects, with a total budget of 60 billion baht. Only 1.8 percent of the funding has been disbursed, since the budget disbursement of most agencies take place in September. Following the cabinet’s approval, agencies responsible for implementing these projects will prepare the procurement and hiring process in accordance with the rules and regulations, to make sure that it is transparent and concise. (NNT)