Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Thai mega-loan package sails through Senate

BANGKOK, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Thai Senate endorsed the executive decree authorising the Ministry of Finance to seek loans of 400 billion baht (11.72 billion U.S. dollars) for economic stimulus package, Thai media reported Tuesday.

According to Thai News Agency, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajivaon Monday night clarified to the Senate the necessity of the decree as the government needs the money for various projects to spur the economy and create jobs, before the Senate voted 69 to 48 to approve it, with 11 senators abstaining.

The controversial package, whose huge amount was seen unnecessary by some MPs, had sailed through the extraordinary session of Parliament on June 15.

Under the second stimulus plan by Abhisit administration, the loans of 400 billion baht to be borrowed under the executive decree, will be used to finance the government's budget deficit and to finance public infrastructure investments.

There is another 400 billion baht borrowing plan that has been passed by the Parliament on June 16. The second 400 billion baht will be used to pay government overhead such as salaries for civil servants, amid the government's dwindling tax collections.

The two borrowing plans, with a combined value of 800 billion baht (23.44 billion U.S. dollars), are part of the Thai government's second economic stimulus package worth totally 1.43-trillion baht (41.90 billion U.S. dollars), which will cover multi investment projects during 2009 to 2012.

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