1. Unemployment soars to 700,000 as factories close : The number of people claiming unemployment benefits has almost doubled to 700,000 people from December last year, with 140,000 registering in March alone. Bangkok Post
  2. TAT expects 16m international tourists : Revised outlook a far cry from pre-outbreak target as Vshaped recovery sought. Thailand is likely to close this year with only 16 million international tourists and 60 million domestic trips, far below the pre-coronavirus targets of 40 million and 172 million respectively, according to Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Bangkok Post
  3. Govt calls on ‘reserve’ cash to cover aid payouts : The government will disburse 50 billion baht from the Finance Ministry’s “reserve money” to cover the second round of the 5,000-baht aid payouts while the third payment is likely to be funded from a central pool drawn from budget cuts to various ministries, according to the Budget Bureau. Bangkok Post
  4. RCEP partners press ahead with legal tweaks : Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) dialogue partners are advancing the review of legal texts, expecting the process to finish in July so the pact can be signed later in the year during the Asean Summit as scheduled. Bangkok Post
  5. Surging power bills spark anger : Sontirat calls in electricity suppliers. Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong will meet power authorities urgently today to iron out growing complaints by households over unusually high electricity bills. Bangkok Post
  6. State upbeat on full-year exports : The government remains positive that exports are unlikely to plunge by 8-10% this year as predicted by several forecasting agencies. Bangkok Post
  7. Over 1m appeal cash handout rejection : More than 1 million applicants rejected for the 5,000-baht monthly cash handout submitted appeals online in the two days since the government opened the appeal process, says the Finance Ministry. Bangkok Post
  8. Army defers carrier deal : Covid-19 fight comes first, Apirat says. The army will delay its 4.5 billion baht procurement of a second batch of 50 US-made Stryker armoured infantry carriers to the next fiscal year as part of the Defence Ministry’s 18 billion baht budget cut to help the Covid-19 outbreak fight. Bangkok Post
  9. State agencies plan for rural recovery : Bottom up economic cure prescribed. The government has ordered all state agencies and related bureaus to map out their own economic recovery plans to boost local economies – deemed the main avenue to repair the devastated economy from the bottom up. Bangkok Post
  10. FTI sees 37% plunge in car production : Car production is expected to plunge 37% to 1.33 million units this year, possibly sinking as much as 50% to 1 million if the coronavirus crisis drags into June, says the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI). Bangkok Post

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