May 19, 2024 10:48 pm
Thai Prime Minister considers funding options to boost economy with $13.7 billion handout plan

The Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced on Wednesday that the country’s economy was facing challenges and required a boost from a proposed 500 billion baht ($13.7 billion) handout scheme. This scheme, known as the “digital wallet,” involved transferring 10,000 baht ($275) to 50 million Thais to be spent within six months. Despite its benefits, concerns about its funding have been raised, with some experts calling it fiscally irresponsible.

Initially, the government had planned to distribute the funds by May but now anticipates doing so in the fourth quarter of the year. Srettha stated that the finance ministry and Budget Bureau were exploring different funding options for the scheme, including borrowing from foreign sources or issuing a debt bill. He emphasized the importance of boosting the economy, especially given the low growth rates experienced over the past decade.

In 2023, Thailand’s economy contracted unexpectedly in the final quarter, leading to a full-year growth rate of 1.9%, lower than expected. The state planning agency has revised its 2024 growth forecast to between 2.2% and 3.2%. Discussions about funding sources for the handout scheme will be held at an upcoming meeting on April 10th, where details of the plan will be finalized.

One potential option for financing this scheme is through government revenue streams such as taxes or tariffs on imports and exports. Another possibility is through a public-private partnership agreement with companies that would invest in infrastructure or other projects that would stimulate economic growth.

Overall, while there are concerns about financing this scheme’s effectiveness and sustainability in terms of long-term economic growth prospects, it is clear that urgent action needs to be taken by both policymakers and businesses alike if Thailand is to overcome its current economic challenges.

In conclusion, Srettha Thavisin announced that Thailand’s economy faced challenges and required immediate action through a proposed handout scheme worth 500 billion baht ($13.7 billion). While there are concerns about its funding sources and sustainability over time, discussions around financing options will continue at an upcoming meeting on April 10th when details of the plan will be finalized. One possible solution could be through government revenue streams or public-private partnership agreements with companies investing in infrastructure projects that would stimulate economic growth over time.

Leave a Reply