Asia

Thailand trying to stimulate economy by giving cash to poor

Thailand's government has approved a one-time payout for low-income people in an effort to stimulate the country's weak economy.

The measure, approved Tuesday by the Cabinet, will give 3,000 baht ($86) to people making less than 30,000 baht ($846) a year, while people with incomes from 30,000 to 100,000 baht ($846-2,821) a year will receive 1,500 baht ($42).

The payments are earmarked for 5.8 million people, excluding farmers who are recipients of a recently approved $1.5 billion rice subsidy. The subsidy has been criticized because it resembles a program for which former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is being tried on grounds of corruption, which she denies.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said he hopes the 12.8 billion baht ($361 million) handout measure will help boost the economy.