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PM promises economic cure for ‘sick’ Thailand

Policy statement highlights debt, energy costs, digital handout

PUBLISHED : 11 Sep 2023 at 11:02

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin delivers his government’s policy statement to the parliament on Monday morning. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

Thailand is a “sick” nation and the new government will immediately begin introducing economic cures, including the digital money handout and reduced energy prices, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said in his policy statement to the parliament on Monday morning.

He said the national economy was fragile due to the high household debt, which now exceeded 90% of gross domestic product, and public debt, which amounted to 61% of GDP.

“Under the present economic circumstances, Thailand is like a sick person… Tourism and spending are recovering so slowly that there is the risk of economic recession. It is necessary to stimulate the economy and spending,” Mr Srettha said.

His government had readied immediate economic stimulation measures. They included the 10,000-baht digital money handout, he said.

“The money will be distributed to all areas and create jobs and economic activity, and the government will earn revenue,” Mr Srettha said.

The government will also solve debt problems of farmers, the general pyblic, small and medium-sized enterprises and other groups of people. Solutions for farmers would include a debt moratorium.

The prime minister promised these solutions would neither breach financial discipline nor ruin repayment awareness.

In addition, Mr Srettha said, the government would reduce the price of oil, cooking gas and electricity, and find more sources of energy.

Another immediate economic solution focused on tourism promotion, which would generate income and create jobs, he said.

The government would waive visa fees for visitors from specified countries and fastrack visas for  participants in international events.

The government would promote international events and improve airports to serve more flights, Mr Srettha said.

Rapid technological development was affecting the country’s competitiveness and its economy was also impacted by world powers’ economic blocs, which had replaced globalisation, he said.

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