Lackluster response to Thailand’s “Ying Chai Ying Dai” stimulus scheme

People walk in a street food market in Bangkok on June 9, 2020. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP)

Only about 310,000 Thais have joined the Finance Ministry’s “Ying Chai Ying Dai” (The More You Spend, the More You Get) stimulus scheme, launched on Monday in the hope of encouraging people with high purchasing power to spend to stimulate the struggling economy.

Finance Permanent Secretary Krisana Jinavijarana said yesterday (Tuesday) that the number of registrants in the first two days is far below the set target of 3.6 million, noting that it may be possible that those who have high purchasing power are more interested in the 50:50 co-payment scheme or, probably, because they want to save the taxpayer’s money by not joining the “Ying Chai Ying Dai” program.

He said, however, that, even if the number of registrants does not reach the target, the Finance Ministry has no contingency plan to roll out any more stimulus schemes or to increase the amount of the co-payment scheme from 3,000 baht/head to 6,000 baht for a six-month period.

Under the “Ying Chai Ying Dai” scheme, a registrant can spend up to 5,000 baht a day but, if the spending does not exceed 60,000 baht, they receive a refund up to 7,000 baht in the form of an E-voucher wired into their E-wallet accounts.

Regarding the 500 billion baht borrowing, under executive decree, Mr. Krisana said that it has been agreed by Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith and the National Economic and Social Development Council that a sizeable chunk of the money will be used to assist tourism-related businesses and eateries.

He noted, however, that the executive decree is flexible and the money could also be used to support the vaccination campaign.

Moreover, he said that the Finance Ministry has instructed state-run banks and financial institutions to develop additional measures to assist businesses hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.


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