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Thailand delays 500 billion baht handout scheme to fourth quarter

 


THAILAND’S government expects to launch a signature handout scheme worth 500 billion baht (S$18.5 billion) by the fourth quarter of this year, a deputy finance minister said on Monday (Mar 25), delaying it beyond a former target date of May.

Concerns over the funding have dogged the controversial digital wallet scheme to transfer 10,000 baht to 50 million Thais to spend within six months, with some experts having called it fiscally irresponsible.

Authorities will hold further discussions on the programme on Wednesday and again on Apr 10, Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat told reporters.

The government planned to carry out registration of eligible Thais and stores in the third quarter, and distribute the money in the fourth, he added.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has said the government will forge ahead to deliver on the election campaign promise intended to boost weak growth. Julapun had earlier flagged that the scheme could be delayed beyond May. REUTERS


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