The vice president of the start-up political “Kla Party” opposed the government’s recent remedial measures of extending economic stimulus campaigns, reasoning that the measures will encourage people to travel to buy things which will become a risk of spreading the Covid-19 infection.
VP Worawoot Ounjai revealed to the press today, May 7th, that the stimulus campaigns, including the third phase of “We Win” or “Rao Ruk Gun”, will only lead to more Covid-19 cases in Thailand especially when the vaccine distribution is not properly accessible as people will leave their residences and spend time shopping at markets in high-risk community areas.
He additionally suggested that the government should rather pay attention to business groups, especially restaurant operators, who urgently need financial assistance the most as they were directly affected since the start of the pandemic last year and by the government closing order on May 1.
Kla Party, therefore, has proposed seven measures to demand the government to speed up the financial aid as follows:
1. The government should provide 50,000 baht for every licensed restaurant affected by the closures, especially in “deep red” zones like Bangkok and Pattaya (with a total of 15,000 million baht in total)
2. The government should provide compensation based on 20 percent of average revenues from May to the end of September, with a proper rate ceiling
3. The government should be responsible for paying social insurance for eatery businesses, for both employers and employees, regardless if the workers are informal or not.
4. The government should negotiate a reduction of Gross Profit delivery (GP Delivery) with delivery companies to be not higher than 15 percent (from a current rate of 30-35 percent)
5. The government should deduct electricity bills for entrepreneurs by 50 percent
6. The government and local governments should stop collecting signage and land tax money from restaurants until the end of the year.
7. Bank of Thailand should provide low-interest loans without pledging collateral for restaurant operators under one condition that the restaurant must not reduce staff and not reduce wages of their employees.
“The government should not spread the money around because it not the right way to solve the economy at the moment. Today, those who are working at restaurants, musicians, and entertainment venue workers/night workers are the ones who are affected the most. I am not sure whether the pandemic is over even if we can manage the third wave because new Covid-19 mutant strains from India and from other places are developing that might not be cured by the vaccination,” Worawut said.
Meanwhile, Chiang Mai governor Charoenrit Sa-nguansat made a request in a letter to the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), urging the authorities to allow restaurants and food shops to provide dine-in services until 9:00 PM.
This follows last week’s petition from representatives of Chiang Mai Restaurant and Entertainment Venue Association to revoke the prohibition of dine-in service as it would harm more than 14,000 restaurants and 80,000 employees in the province alone.
A similar restriction is implemented in five provinces with high Covid-19 cases of the current outbreak, namely Bangkok, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, and Samut Prakan.
The request is made to the CCSA after the situation of Covid-19 domestic infections and the number of infections found are easing in the province this week. The CCSA is planning to review current zone restrictions and classifications at the end of next week, according to a statement from a spokesperson on May 7th. Any decisions are unlikely to come before Friday, May 14th.
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