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Thailand’s Prime Minister Proposes $16 Billion Cash Handout for Economic Revitalization


Sep 11, 2023

Thailand’s new Prime Minister, Srettha Thavisin, has announced plans to distribute 560 billion baht ($16 billion) to the country’s 55 million adults over the next six months. The aim is to stimulate domestic demand and investment and revive the sluggish economy. As part of the plan, all Thais aged 16 and above will receive 10,000 baht each to spend on specific goods and services in their neighborhood. The government will also cut energy prices, offer a debt moratorium to farmers and small businesses, and roll out a digital wallet program to ensure even distribution of funds across all sectors of the economy. The measures are expected to be approved at the first working meeting of the new cabinet. The digital wallet program is the main promise of Srettha’s Pheu Thai Party and could have a fourfold multiplier effect on the economy, potentially increasing economic growth to as high as 5% next year. However, Srettha faces the challenge of boosting growth in the face of declining demand for Thai goods from China and lower-than-expected earnings from foreign tourists. The government also needs to pass a budget and address high household and public debt levels. The spending plans may widen the fiscal deficit, which could limit the country’s ability to absorb future shocks, according to economists. The opposition Move Forward Party criticized the government for lacking details and deadlines for the newly announced initiatives. Some of the other priorities of Srettha’s administration include boosting tourism revenue, holding a referendum to overhaul the constitution, establishing special economic zones, setting up a matching fund for start-ups, accelerating free-trade agreements, easing rules for foreign labor, and tackling air pollution. The government also plans to scrap and improve outdated laws.

By Editor

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