11 July 2024

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said that the Pheu Thai party has prepared a Plan B to enable it to implement the controversial digital wallet scheme, in the event the government’s 500 billion baht loan bill to fund the scheme is ruled unconstitutional by the Council of State.

In his interview from San Francisco on Tuesday (local time), the prime minister emphasised that the Thai economy is in crisis and, therefore, it is absolutely necessary that a huge amount of money be injected into the system to stimulate it, citing the digital wallet scheme.

Declining to elaborate on the backup plan, he said that the ruling Pheu Thai party has developed several measures to stimulate the economy, including the digital wallet scheme.

Meanwhile, Dr. Surapong Suebwonglee, former finance minister and a member of the National Soft Power Strategic Committee, equates Thailand’s economy to a bleeding patient.

In his Facebook post, he said that he is deeply concerned about liquidity, which will worsen and have serious impacts on the Thai economy unless there is a huge amount of new money being injected into the economic system.

Capital outflows and the refusal of commercial banks to extend loans are contributing to the negative liquidity, he said, noting that, in August alone, liquidity amounted to one trillion baht.

According to Credit Bureau, Dr. Surapong said household debt amounts to 90.6% of GDP and 7.4% of that debt are non-performing loans (NPLs).

He also said the growth rate for the whole year is expected to be lower than 2%, an indicator of a worse economic situation to come.