Thai PM: will gradually reduce electricity prices

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said on Monday his government will gradually reduce electricity prices amid efforts to lower living costs in Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy.

To counter an economy struggling with soft demand for its exports and low investor confidence, Srettha and his 11-party government have promised a series of populist measures including suspending debts for farmers, raising minimum wage and providing handouts to all Thai adults via digital wallets.

“We’ve already reduced electricity prices but want to reduce more but it will take several weeks,” the premier said, adding the country’s economic situation is “not so good”.

He was speaking at a forum hosted by Thai media outlet, Thairath.

Srettha, a real estate mogul and political newcomer, has come under fire in parliament for policies the opposition say are vague and lack clear direction.

But the PM has said the policies would be fiscally responsible and a signature 560 billion baht digital wallet handout policy would not rely on loans.

(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng, Panarat Thepgumpanat; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)