11 July 2024

The Thai cabinet approved four economic stimulus schemes today (Tuesday), aimed at easing the cost of living burden of about 51 million Thais and stimulating the COVID-beset economy for the rest of the year.

According to Ms. Kulaya Tantitemit, director of the Fiscal Policy Office and spokesperson for the Finance Ministry, the first measure is to increase the purchasing power of about 13.65 million welfare card holders with a monthly 200-baht benefit for six months, which they can use to buy goods from Blue Flag stores or other shops which have joined the co-payment scheme. The scheme will cost the taxpayer about 16.4 billion baht.

She said, however, that welfare card holders can cede their right to hold the cards and opt to join the co-payment scheme instead, by contacting the Comptroller Department or the Fiscal Policy Office by June 7th.

The second scheme is intended for about 2.5 million elderly, disabled and bed-ridden people, and those who do not have smart phones or internet access. Each will receive 200 baht per month for six months, to be used to buy products from Blue Flag stores. They can, however, choose to apply for the co-payment scheme or the “ying chai ying dai” (the more you pay the more you get) scheme, via the Pao Tang app, by June 28th.

The third scheme is an extension of the co-payment scheme, which will cover 30 million beneficiaries for their purchase of food, drinks, other products, services and public transport. Each is allowed to spend up to 150 baht/day, which is 1,500 baht over three months, or 3,000 baht for six months. This scheme will cost an estimated 93 billion baht.

Ms. Kulaya said that this will increase consumer purchasing power and help to put about 186 billion baht into circulation.

The last scheme is aimed at boosting domestic consumption and stimulating the economy by urging those who have high purchasing power to spend more, in return for rebates.

For instance, if they spend up to 40,000 baht, they will receive a 10% rebate, but not more than 4,000 baht per person, as an e-voucher. If 40,000 to 60,000 baht is spent, they will receive a 15% rebate, but not exceeding 3,000 baht.

This project is estimated to cost 28 billion baht of taxpayers’ money, but is expected to bring 268 billion baht into circulation.

Ms. Kulaya said the four schemes will begin on July 1st and end on December 31st, 2021.