Thai PM Announces May Launch for US$14.3 Billion Digital Wallet Stimulus

Thai PM Announces May Launch for US$14.3 Billion Digital Wallet Stimulus

by January 9, 2024

Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced the anticipated May commencement of a substantial economic stimulus initiative, according to a Reuters report.

This plan, a centerpiece of the ruling Pheu Thai party’s election campaign, involves disbursing approximately US$14.3 billion through a ‘digital wallet’ system.

Under this scheme, around 50 million Thai citizens will each receive 10,000 baht (about US$285) to spend within their local communities.

The government’s aim with this initiative is to invigorate Thailand’s economy, the second-largest in Southeast Asia, targeting a growth rate of at least 5% annually.

However, the programme has faced criticism from economists and former central bank governors, who warn that it might be financially imprudent and could potentially exacerbate inflation.

In response to these concerns, Srettha, who also serves as finance minister, is scheduled to discuss the digital wallet programme and related issues with the country’s central bank governor.

Despite concerns raised by the Office of the Council of State regarding the financing of this programme, they have not identified any legal impediments to the government’s plan to borrow funds for this purpose.

This office, which provides legal counsel to the government, had earlier suggested that an executive decree might be a more expedient method than a legislative bill for such borrowing, due to the urgency of stimulating the economy.


Featured image credit: Edited from Freepik