Thailand’s Economic Crisis: A Call for Urgent Action and Additional Stimulus Measures

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

Srettha Thavisin, the Prime Minister of Thailand, announced on Wednesday that the economy was facing significant challenges and needed a boost from a proposed handout scheme worth 500 billion baht ($13.7 billion). The “digital wallet” plan would involve transferring 10,000 baht ($275) to 50 million Thais to be spent within six months. However, concerns about the funding for this scheme have arisen, with some experts questioning its fiscal responsibility.

The government has decided to delay the distribution of funds until the fourth quarter of the year, pushing back from the initial timeline of May. Srettha revealed that the finance ministry and the Budget Bureau have been tasked with 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.

Unfortunately, full-year growth in 2023 came in at only 1.9%, below the expected growth rate of 2.5%. This unexpected contraction in growth was felt across all sectors of the economy and has led to a revision in economic projections for 2024. The state planning agency now forecasts full-year growth ranging from 2.2% to 3.2%, down from its previous estimate of 2.7% to 3.7%.

The government plans to discuss further details about this stimulus program at their next meeting on April 10th while seeking a borrowing bill to finance it is proving challenging due to concerns about debt sustainability and potential inflationary pressures.

Srettha has labeled this current economic situation as a crisis that requires urgent action but it’s not an easy decision as it’s not without risks such as increased public debt levels and inflation rates.

In conclusion, Thailand’s prime minister has announced that his country is facing significant challenges and will need additional stimulus measures such as handout schemes worth billions of baht ($13 billion)

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