Thailand’s Prime Minister Announces Need for Urgent Economic Boost with Handout Scheme amidst Fiscal Concerns.

Thai Prime Minister considers funding options for $13.7 billion stimulus package to bolster economy

Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced on Wednesday that the country’s economy was facing challenges and needed a boost from a proposed handout scheme worth 500 billion baht ($13.7 billion). The “digital wallet” plan, which would involve transferring 10,000 baht ($275) to 50 million Thais to be spent within six months, has been met with concerns about its fiscal responsibility.

In response to these concerns, the government has delayed the distribution of funds until the fourth quarter of the year. Srettha revealed that the finance ministry and Budget Bureau are exploring potential funding sources for the scheme, in addition to considering a borrowing bill. He emphasized the importance of boosting the economy, which has experienced low growth over the past decade.

The state planning agency has revised its growth outlook for 2024, with new projections ranging from 2.2% to 3.2%, down from the previous estimate of 2.7% to 3.7%. The government plans to discuss funding options for the scheme at its next meeting on April 10, where further details will be finalized.

Despite recent approval of budgets for the 2024 fiscal year, seeking a borrowing bill to finance the handout program has presented challenges for the government. Srettha has labeled this economic situation as a crisis that requires urgent stimulus measures. However, central bank governor expressed a different viewpoint, acknowledging slower-than-expected growth and structural issues in Thailand’s economy.

The uncertainty surrounding funding options may lead to delays or modifications in plans aimed at spurring economic growth in Thailand.

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