Thai Government Insists on Digital-Wallet Handout by Borrowing to Finance the Scheme

The Thai government will continue forging ahead with its digital wallet handout and may need to borrow to finance the handout to stimulate spending in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

Julapun Amornvivat, a deputy finance minister, made the remarks on Wednesday during the three-day debate on a 3.48 trillion baht budget bill for the 2024 fiscal year that has been delayed since October last year.

The deputy insisted on going ahead with the 500 billion baht scheme, saying that it may be necessary to get a loan through a bill.

The scheme drew a lot of criticism from exports and society, mostly over the concern of how it would be funded. The handout will transfer 10,000 baht to 50 million Thais who are eligible for the scheme to spend within the timeframe.

The plan is expected to stimulate spending in the ecosystem and generate money circulation in the system. The Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin expects Thai economic growth at 5% after the adoption of this scheme.

The delayed fiscal budget is expected to be ready by early next month, though it will require approval from the Senate and the King.


As for the Thai PM himself, he recently announced that he will not be travelling abroad for the next two months after growing public criticism of his visits to other countries too many times to promote Thailand and its investment attractiveness, while Thailand is facing a critical condition of air pollution, especially in one of the most tourist hotspot city, Chiang Mai.