Finance Ministry unable to clarify source of funding for digital wallet scheme, says House panel
The chair of a House committee said on Thursday that representatives of the Finance Ministry could not clarify on the funding source for the government’s digital wallet handout scheme.
Move Forward party-list MP Sittipol Wibulthanakul, the chairman of the House committee on economic development, was speaking to reporters after inviting representatives of the Finance Ministry, the Bank of Thailand, and the National Anti-Corruption Commission Office to speak about the digital wallet scheme.
The governing coalition-leader, Pheu Thai Party, has vowed to go ahead with implementing its pre-poll promise to hand out 10,000 baht to all Thais from the age of 16 through blockchain-based digital wallet.
Sittipol told reporters that representatives of the Finance Ministry could not give clear details about the source of the funds for the scheme, which would require over 500 billion baht.
He said the representatives only said the spending for the scheme would not violate the government’s fiscal policy.
He said the representatives also could not affirm or deny whether the government would have to borrow money from state enterprises.
He said the House panel hoped the government would heed criticisms and design the scheme with prudence to minimise adverse effects.
The House panel would like to call on the government to consider the pros and cons of the source of money and the way the scheme would be implemented, as well as take into account short-term and long-term impacts on the economy, he said.
He said the representatives of the Finance Ministry had told his panel that a government committee was still studying key details of the scheme.