BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's cabinet on Tuesday approved a plan to boost the 2024 fiscal budget by 122 billion baht ($3.34 billion), to help finance a household stimulus scheme, Deputy Finance Minister Paopoom Rojanasakul said.

The launch of the 500 billion baht ($13.7 billion) handout scheme, the ruling Pheu Thai Party's key platform in the 2023 election, had been delayed to the fourth quarter due to a lack of funding and concerns about the impact on public debt.

The government earlier said it would finance the policy from the 2024 and 2025 budgets and use capital from the state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives.

Economists and two former central bank governors have said the programme, which will give 10,000 baht each to 50 million Thais to spend in their communities, is fiscally irresponsible.

The government rejects the criticism and says it is necessary to jumpstart the economy, which has lagged peers as it confronts high household debt and borrowing costs as well as weak exports amid an uneven recovery in top trading partner China.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Tuesday told a press conference the government would accelerate disbursement of the 2024 fiscal budget and the economy could grow more than 2.5% this year.

On Monday, Finance Minister Pichai Chunhavajira said the government was planning other stimulus measures in the short term to revive growth, adding the economy should be expanding at least 3.5% annually.

Last month, the finance ministry cut its 2024 economic growth forecast to 2.4% from 2.8% but said it could reach 3.3% if the handout programme is deployed in the fourth quarter as planned.

Southeast Asia's second-largest economy expanded 1.5% in the first quarter from a year earlier, slowing from 1.7% growth the quarter before. Last year's growth was 1.9%.

(Reporting by Orathai Sriring, Kitiphong Thaichareon and Thanadech Staporncharnchai, Panarat Thepgumpanat; Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Martin Petty)