|Published : 22 Nov 2016, 21:37:56|
Thailand approves handouts of $360 million to help low-income earners
BANGKOK, Nov 22 (Reuters) : Thailand's cabinet on Tuesday approved cash handouts of 12.8 billion baht ($360.87 million) to help millions of low-income earners, the military government's latest bid to boost sluggish domestic consumption.
Since taking power in May 2014, the junta has struggled to revive Southeast Asia's second-largest economy as exports and domestic demand remain weak. It has launched various stimulus measures, especially for farmers and the poor, to lift spending.
The latest cash handouts are to be distributed to 5.4 million people next month, Nattaporn Jatusripitak, an adviser to the commerce minister, told reporters.
Non-farmers earning up to 30,000 baht a year will receive a one-off sum of 3,000 baht while those earning between 30,000 and 100,000 baht annually will receive 1,500 baht, he said.
The scheme follows similar financial aid for farmers.
The junta had pledged to wean farmers off expensive subsidies used by the government it overthrew, including a rice scheme that cost billions. But it changed its tune as the rural economy contracted last year.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said the government was planning additional measures to boost year-end spending and tourism, as economic growth came in weaker than forecast in the last quarter.