PM defends 500-billion-baht digital wallet handout scheme amid concerns

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The premier noted that the initiative, along with a continued emphasis on tourism promotion, forms part of broader efforts to invigorate the national economy.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has reaffirmed his confidence in the government’s 500-billion-baht digital wallet handout scheme, designed as a one-time initiative to boost consumer spending and stimulate economic activity. Despite concerns over its potential to increase reliance on government support, the prime minister clarified that the scheme has distinct terms compared to past handouts, including a stipulation that funds must be spent locally.



Scheduled for launch in the last quarter of this year, the scheme is expected to start showing economic benefits by early to mid-next year. The premier noted that the initiative, along with a continued emphasis on tourism promotion, forms part of broader efforts to invigorate the national economy.

Concerns have been raised about the scheme’s financial logistics, particularly the plan to borrow funds from the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC). The borrowing strategy will be supplemented by 152.7 billion baht from the fiscal year 2025 budget and 175 billion baht reallocated from the current budget, totaling an additional 172.3 billion baht in loans for 17.23 million farmers.



On April 11, the BAAC declared its intention to cooperate with the government in guaranteeing a favorable outcome and safeguarding against any financial risks associated with this highly anticipated campaign. (NNT)