Thailand's parliament approves 58 billion USD economic package hinh anh 1At a garment factory in Thailand. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Bangkok (VNA)
Thailand’s parliament on May 31 passed a stimulus package worth 1.9 trillion THB (58 billion USD) to ease the impact of COVID-19.

The legislation, comprising three bills, includes a government plan to borrow 1 trillion THB and central bank measures worth another 900 billion THB in soft loans and support for corporate bonds.

Of the 1 trillion THB of borrowing, 600 billion THB will be for public heath works and relief measures, and the rest for rebuilding the economy and job creation.

The bills must next be approved by the upper house Senate, which is expected to convene in early June, before they can become law.

The latest steps follow billions of dollars of stimulus measures introduced earlier this year to cope with the impact of the coronavirus on the Thai economy, which is heading into a recession.

Thailand began to gradually ease some restrictions introduced to contain the virus in early May. More businesses classified as medium to high risks, including cinemas and gyms, will be allowed to reopen on June 1.

Thailand’s central bank has said it expects the economy to sharply contract this year as the pandemic hit businesses and households.

Meanwhile, the Thai National Economic and Social Development Council said 8.4 million people are at risk of losing their jobs this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the tourism sector being most badly affected.

It estimated that the fall in the number of foreign and domestic tourists could mean 2.5 million people, or 64 percent of the approximately 3.9 million workers in the tourism sector, could become unemployed.

It said in a report that 1.5 million, or 25 percent of the 5.9 million person industrial workforce, also could be laid off due to the coronavirus crisis reducing demand that was already weakened by trade wars.

The jobs of 4.4 million people, or 43 percent of 10.3 million people working in the service sector outside of tourism, are also at risk./.