Handout's 2nd phase in the works

Handout's 2nd phase in the works

Scheme set to induce turnaround in Q4

A poster promotes the 1,000-baht cash handout scheme at a Tesco Lotus hypermarket. Pornprom Satrabhaya
A poster promotes the 1,000-baht cash handout scheme at a Tesco Lotus hypermarket. Pornprom Satrabhaya

The second phase of the 1,000-baht cash handout scheme will launch this quarter in a bid to rev up economic growth momentum in the remaining months of 2019.

The scheme is poised to induce a turnaround of the economy during the final quarter, said Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak.

The tourism sector has to play a greater role in shoring up Thailand's economic growth because exports have been reeling from the global economic slowdown and the domestic scene is still marred by political noise, Mr Somkid said.

For the second phase of the policy, he wants to include about 500,000 community stores nationwide in the scheme to induce more circulation of money in local communities.

The budget for the scheme's second phase is not an issue, Mr Somkid said, as the Finance Ministry will ensure disbursement in accordance with fiscal discipline.

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said his ministry is considering the number of registrants for the scheme's second phase.

Recently, Mr Somkid and Mr Uttama recommended that the 1,000-baht handout and 15% cash rebate scheme be extended until the end of the year to boost consumption and year-end tourism.

The cash handout and rebate are part of a 316-billion-baht stimulus package aimed at boosting economic growth to at least 3% this year.

The cash handout needs to be spent using the Pao Tang app at participating shops in specified provinces within two weeks, while the 15% rebate can be spent in any province.

Neither perk can be used in the recipient's home province. Recipients must spend from Sept 27 to Nov 30 to take advantage of either perk.

The scheme's registration, which is open from Sept 23 to Nov 15 or until the 10-million-recipient quota is full, is limited to 1 million recipients a day.

The Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) recently estimated that 3 million people would use their own money for tourism and spending expenses worth a combined 50 billion baht.

Combined with 10 billion baht from e-money disbursed to 10 million registrants of the 1,000-baht cash handout scheme, total monetary circulation in the economic system is projected at 60 billion baht, said FPO director-general Lavaron Sangsnit.

The amount will help boost GDP growth by 0.2-0.3%, according to FPO estimates.

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