TUESDAY, April 23, 2024

Digital wallet scheme to be implemented before Songkran: Pheu Thai

Digital wallet scheme to be implemented before Songkran: Pheu Thai

The Pheu Thai Party, which leads the new coalition government in the making, said on Friday that its policy of handing out 10,000 baht in digital money to every Thai aged 16 and above could be implemented within the first half of next year.

Paopoom Rojanasakul, the party’s deputy secretary-general, said on Friday that although the huge budget required for the project remained a concern, the party would implement the project. He expected the policy to be implemented within the first half of next year.

“Before the Songkran festival in April 2024, more than 50 million Thais aged 16 and above would be able to spend 10,000 baht through the [digital wallet] system. Over 560 billion baht would be distributed to all areas throughout Thailand,” Paopoom said.

“Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s instruction calls for this policy to be implemented as soon as possible. It’s the first policy that Pheu Thai would roll out to stimulate the economy,” he said.

Paopoom also said that people who had no smartphone could spend through this digital wallet by using their citizen ID cards.
The controversial policy, launched in the run-up to the May 14 general election, had come under criticism.

Critics pointed to the potential damage it could cause to the country’s monetary and fiscal discipline. The criticism also came from former and current governors of the Bank of Thailand.

Paopoom said on Friday that the estimated 560 billion baht required for this project would not affect the government’s monetary and fiscal discipline and that the money would not come from a state loan.

He said the Pheu Thai-led government would create a new digital wallet for this handout policy, and not use the “Paotang” mobile app launched by the outgoing administration of General Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Paopoom also warned the public of mobile apps being used by scammers to steal money from their bank accounts through mobile banking.

He said the new digital wallet app to be used for the handout project was being developed by a Pheu Thai working group.