Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on November 11 said that Thailand will seek 500 billion baht (14 billion USD) in loans to finance its 10,000-baht digital money handout scheme.
|Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin speaks during an interview in Bangkok, Thailand on October 15 (source: Xinhua)
Bangkok – Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on November 11 said that Thailand will seek 500 billion baht (14 billion USD) in loans to finance its 10,000-baht digital money handout scheme.
Srettha said that the digital currency will be offered to Thais aged 16 and older who earn less than 70,000 baht (nearly 2,000 USD) per month and have under 500,000 baht in bank deposits.
He added that the Thai economy needs a major stimulus as the country's GDP has grown by only 1.9 per cent a year on average over the past decade, with household debt jumping from 76 per cent in 2012 to 91.6 per cent this year.
The output from the manufacturing sector has also declined, which means fewer workers are required, resulting in many people being laid off.
As a result, they earn less and buy less, which in turn causes factories to cut production. And that cycle repeats, causing a recession. Things will get worse unless the economy gets a boost, Srettha said.
According to him, the government will inject 600 billion baht into the economy including 500 billion baht via the digital wallet scheme as well as a 100-billion-baht fund to enhance the country's economic potential.
The digital wallet policy is intended to inject cash flow into the economic system to boost spending during the six months after its launch. The handout will begin next May..
The digital wallet can only be used to buy food and consumer goods. It cannot be used to purchase goods online, cigarettes or liquor, cash vouchers and such valuables as diamonds, gems or gold; to pay off debts; or cover water or electricity bills, fuel, natural gas or tuition fees.
Meanwhile, the new 100-billion-baht fund will be used to enhance the country's competitiveness in fields including new technologies and human resources development, said Srettha.
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