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Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn approves $82 billion plan to limit coronavirus impact

Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn on Sunday (April 19) approved laws to implement spending measures worth 1.9 trillion baht (S$82 billion) to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on the economy.

The measures, approved by Cabinet last week, allow the government to borrow 1 trillion baht to be used for public health spending and job creation.

The central bank will also be allowed to lend 500 billion baht to smaller businesses and to set up a 400 billion baht fund to support the corporate debt market.

South-east Asia’s second-largest economy stands to lose 1.3 trillion baht, most of it in the tourism sector, and up to 10 million jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The country is in a state of emergency.

This month, it imposed a nationwide night curfew after closing malls to limit the spread of the virus.

The package is the latest step in the billions of dollars of stimulus measures rolled out to cope with the impact of the coronavirus on the economy, which is expected to contract by 5.3% this year.

Thailand has reported a total of 2,765 cases of the coronavirus and 47 fatalities.

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