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Tuesday, November 28, 2023
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Government Explores Legality of 500 Billion Baht Digital Money Handout Scheme Amid Economic Stimulus Plans

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In a pivotal move towards economic revitalization, the Thai government is currently in the process of seeking legal counsel from the Council of State concerning a proposed bill to borrow 500 billion baht. This substantial sum is earmarked for a digital money handout scheme, a flagship initiative of the ruling party Pheu Thai, with the intention of providing 10,000 baht to eligible citizens.

Deputy Prime Minister Phumtham Wechayachai has affirmed that the bill, spearheaded by Pheu Thai, is currently under scrutiny by the government’s legal advisory body, emphasizing the meticulous review process the initiative is undergoing.

The proposed digital wallet scheme, born from a key election promise of Pheu Thai, is designed to transcend a mere cash giveaway. The government envisions it as a tool to stimulate the economy, with an expectation that recipients will pool their funds with family members for more significant micro-investments.

Government Spokesman Chai Wacharonke has highlighted that crucial consultations have taken place with key financial entities, including the Bank of Thailand and the National Economic and Social Development Council. The decision to pursue funding through a loan bill aligns with the precedent set by previous administrations for financing large-scale initiatives.

Targeting Thai citizens aged 16 and above, earning less than 70,000 baht per month, and having less than 500,000 baht in bank deposits, the scheme aims to extend its reach to approximately 50 million eligible individuals. Stringent restrictions are in place to ensure the funds are utilized for essential needs within the recipient’s district, with prohibitions on online purchases, acquiring luxury items, or settling debts and bills.

The fate of this groundbreaking initiative now lies in the hands of the Council of State, with coalition parties awaiting its legal verdict before pledging their support. The outcome of this consultation will significantly shape the trajectory of Thailand’s economic stimulus plans in the coming months.

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