Thai Cabinet Approves Additional Borrowing of THB276 bln for Stimulus Measures in FY2024

Thailand’s cabinet has granted approval for an extra 276 billion baht in borrowing for the 2024 fiscal year to support a household assistance program aimed at boosting the economy, according to government sources.

The newly approved borrowing brings the total new borrowing for the fiscal year to 1 trillion baht, as conveyed by deputy government spokesperson Radklao Suwankhiri during a press conference.

This supplementary borrowing is part of a broader restructuring of the debt management strategy for the fiscal year, which covers the handling of the existing debt amounting to 2.04 trillion baht and debt repayments totaling 454 billion baht.

The additional funds will be utilized to finance the government’s digital wallet scheme, as explained by government spokesperson Chai Wacharonke at the briefing.

In a separate development in May, the cabinet had sanctioned a plan to augment the 2024 fiscal budget by 122 billion baht to support the economic stimulus policy. This move is expected to elevate the total budget for the year to 3.6 trillion baht, resulting in a deficit of 805 billion baht, according to officials.

The government intends to initiate a 500 billion baht digital handout scheme, a focal point of the governing Pheu Thai Party’s manifesto in the 2023 election, during the fourth quarter. While some experts have raised concerns about the fiscal accountability of the scheme, questioning its funding source and potential impact on public debt, the government plans to finance it from the 2024 and 2025 budgets along with capital from the state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives.

As of the end of May, Thailand’s public debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio stood at 64.29%, below the official ceiling of 70%, signaling a manageable level of indebtedness.