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PM Srettha Thavisin Allays Fears Over BAAC Withdrawals Amid Thailand’s Digital Wallet Scheme

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On a bustling Tuesday at the heart of Thailand’s political epicenter, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin made a notable arrival at Government House, stirring the air with anticipation and speculation. Amid the whirlwind of activities, a hot topic surfaced, compelling PM Srettha to address whispers that had begun circulating with fervor. These weren’t just any rumors; they hinted at a seismic shift in the financial confidence of citizens towards the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC). The word on the street? A significant number of people were allegedly withdrawing their savings, triggered by news that the government had its eyes set on a hefty sum of 172.3 billion baht from the BAAC. This colossal amount was earmarked to partially fund an ambitious 500-billion-baht digital wallet handout scheme. But was there any truth to this narrative?

PM Srettha stepped forward on Friday, poised and ready to dismantle the swirling rumors. With the assurance of a seasoned leader, he declared the tales of a bank run as nothing but fiction. Backing his statement, the BAAC itself came out swinging with a robust declaration of its financial health, ready to quell any lingering doubts.

In a move to underscore the government’s commitment to due diligence and transparency, Mr. Srettha highlighted a forthcoming step; seeking the Council of State’s wisdom on the legality of this monumental borrowing plan. It was a clear message: the government’s operations would unfold under the watchful eye of accountability.

The BAAC, in its spirited defense, painted a picture of strength and steadfastness. As a beacon for farmers and cooperatives, guided by the BAAC law, this state-run banking titan has been at the forefront, championing numerous government initiatives and navigating its liquidity with the precision of a master sailor. The digital wallet handout scheme, it argued, was just another extension of its mission, a government-endorsed programme tailored to uplift farmers. The bank, in its statement, emphasized its proactive stance in ensuring that this scheme was rolled out within a rock-solid legal framework, complemented by meticulous risk management protocols.

The origin of the cash withdrawal frenzy could be traced back to an announcement earlier in the week, unveiling the digital wallet scheme’s financial backbone. It was an elaborate plan, drawing from a potpourri of fiscal sources: 152.7 billion baht from the 2025 budget, a reallocated slice of the current fiscal year’s budget amounting to 175 billion baht, and the controversial 172.3 billion baht loan from the BAAC. The latter, sanctioned under Section 28 of the State Fiscal and Financial Disciplines Act, was destined to support 17.23 million farmers, painting their futures with a stroke of digital prosperity.

The plot thickened with the surfacing of a video clip starring Paisarn Hongthong, the BAAC’s assistant manager. His appearance struck a chord, as he seemed to voice apprehensions over the borrowing plan, hinting at potential liquidity nightmares. The government’s response was swift, with spokesman Chai Watcharonke stepping into the fray. Upon probing, Mr. Paisarn elucidated that his comments, taken from an interview conducted a mere week before the digital wallet’s grand reveal, were reflections on the overall earmarked amount for the scheme, not an indictment of the bank’s liquidity status.

As the dust settles on this financial saga, the scenes at Government House serve as a reminder of the delicate balance between innovation and stability in the quest to propel Thailand’s agricultural sector into the digital age. Amidst assurances and clarifications, the narrative of Thailand’s digital wallet handout scheme unfolds, promising a blend of aid and advancement for its millions of farmers, with the government steering the ship through uncharted waters, ever vigilant and prepared.


  1. Tommie April 13, 2024

    Isn’t this just another example of big government stepping in where they shouldn’t? Why meddle with the financial sector and potentially risk the stability of the baht?

    • Chanya April 13, 2024

      I disagree, Tommie. This initiative could be a major step forward for our farmers, bringing them into the digital age. It’s about long-term benefits, not just short-term risks.

      • Kasem April 13, 2024

        Exactly, Chanya. People often overlook the potential for positive change because they’re too caught up in fear-mongering. Digital advancements are the future.

    • Beau April 13, 2024

      But are those risks really worth it? The government should be cautious with schemes that tap into the funds of such a critical institution.

      • Chanya April 13, 2024

        It’s a calculated risk, Beau. Plus, the PM and the BAAC have reassured the public about the bank’s financial health and the legal footing of the scheme.

  2. Sirilak April 13, 2024

    I’m all for digital innovation, but borrowing such a huge amount seems reckless. What if it goes south? The agricultural sector could be hit the hardest.

    • Niran April 13, 2024

      That’s a valid concern, Sirilak. However, considering the detailed planning and the precautions they’re taking, it feels like they’re on the right track. It’s a bold move, but potentially a very beneficial one for our farmers.

  3. PisanuTechie April 13, 2024

    As someone who works in tech, I’m excited about any plan that aims to integrate digital solutions into traditional sectors like agriculture. This is the innovation we’ve been waiting for!

  4. Lanta April 13, 2024

    Did everyone miss the part about the BAAC manager’s video? Sounds like there are internal concerns about the liquidity because of this plan…

    • Sunee April 13, 2024

      Good point, Lanta. It’s one thing for the government to declare everything’s fine, but if people internally are worried, shouldn’t we be too?

      • PisanuTechie April 13, 2024

        But the follow-up clarified that the comments were about the scheme’s overall amount, not the bank’s current financial status. We shouldn’t jump to conclusions based on a snippet.

  5. Amonrat April 13, 2024

    This scheme could elevate the agricultural sector, but the financing aspect does worry me. Borrowing from a bank dedicated to farmers feels like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    • Somchai April 13, 2024

      It’s a matter of perspective, Amonrat. Investing in farmers’ digital infrastructure could yield returns far greater than the initial loan. It’s an investment in the future.

  6. Jake_from_Iowa April 13, 2024

    Watching from abroad, it’s fascinating to see how different governments attempt to usher in digital transformation. This scheme seems like a gamble, but maybe a necessary one?

    • Tommie April 13, 2024

      It’s definitely a gamble, Jake. The question is, are the potential benefits worth the risk? Especially considering there’s public concern over fiscal management.

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