Srettha turns to Council of State over BAAC’s role in funding digital wallet scheme


Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said that he will ask the Council of State to check whether the government can partially finance the 500-billion-baht digital wallet scheme with money from the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC).

“I’m confident everything will be lawful, but I’ll have the Council of State check it,” Srettha said on Thursday, referring to the recently announced details of the 10,000 baht handout to some 50 million eligible Thais aged 16 and above.

The premier said he will consult the government’s legal advisory body in response to opposition Move Forward Party MP Sirikanya Tansakun’s claim that using money from BAAC to partially finance the scheme may be unlawful as it does not match the bank’s purpose of helping farmers and cooperatives.

On Wednesday, Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat said the funding of the digital wallet scheme will come from three budgetary sources: 152.7 billion baht from the 2025 fiscal budget, 172.3 billion baht from the BAAC 2025 budget, and 175 billion baht from the 2024 fiscal budget.

Apart from the MP’s warning, the central bank also advised the government on Wednesday to carefully review its funding sources.

The Bank of Thailand said that if the government used the central emergency fund to partially finance the scheme, then it should be able to prove that this is an emergency case.

The central bank added that if a government agency had to partially shoulder the expenses, then the government should also explain how it would return the money and whether this agency had the authority to use the money for the purpose.