On his recent trip to the vibrant region of Phitsanulok, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin extended an invitation to the public to express their stance on the government’s digital wallet scheme. The ambitious plan, promising to deposit 10,000-baht into the digital wallets of Thai citizens, has soared into the limelight, sparking a rigorous debate among economic experts.
Emphasising the urgency of this digital economic stimulus, the Prime Minister announced that the government is compelled to implement the giveaway by February. “The digital wallet scheme is more than a handout; it’s an injection of energy into our economy and fuel for personal spending,” commented Mr. Srettha.
Encouraging public involvement, he urged the citizens who are in favour of the scheme to make their support count. In a landscape increasingly swayed by social media narratives, the Prime Minister has been utilising his X account to assemble followers in support of the digital wallet initiative and to counter critics who may wish to impede its progress.
Being proactive in his call for support, he cited the potential benefits that would accompany the allocation of 560 billion baht directly into the semi-virtual pockets of the people. The Prime Minister enthused about how an injection of this magnitude would be a much-needed boost to the manufacturing sector and consequently generate job opportunities.
“We are willing to adapt the policy to ensure it resonates with everyone, and your support is critical for us to push through and actualize it,” he emphasized, reiterating the government’s commitment to continual improvement spurred by public feedback.
In a similar vein, Deputy Minister of Finance Julapun Amornvivat strongly denied rumors of a reduction in the scheme’s scope, specifically scrapping the plans to only cover the underprivileged, or of downsizing the fund from 560 billion baht to 400 billion baht, as reported by some outlets.
As the chair of a sub-panel under the digital wallet policy committee, Mr. Julapun explained that his team is in the process of gathering proposals and anticipates finalizing the plan in the next fortnight. The committee, in turn, is expected to analyze the plan intricately, focusing on the projected budget and its sources, before giving the green light for its execution.
While clearing any misconceptions about the nature of the scheme, Mr. Julapun emphasized that the main aim is to act as an economic stimulant and not to cater to specific social groups. He made it clear that, despite criticism, it’s necessary to thoroughly evaluate the policy to ensure its effectiveness in achieving the desired results.
Furthermore, he suggested that the plan may require less than the originally earmarked 560 billion baht, depending upon further study and analysis, and specified that the number of potential beneficiaries would be around 54.8 million citizens, as opposed to the previously reported 56 million.