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Pheu Thai reaffirms digital wallet scheme will go ahead

The ruling Pheu Thai Party on Sunday reaffirmed that the widely-criticised 10,000 baht digital money handout scheme won’t be suspended, saying all final details will be announced by the end of this month.

“The principle of the project won’t change while certain details and conditions will possibly be adjusted,” said Treechada Srithada, a deputy Pheu Thai spokeswoman, on Sunday.

While vowing to implement the scheme, Prime Minister and Finance Minister Srettha Thavisin and his deputy Julapun Amornvivat previously promised that opinions from both supporters and opponents of the project would definitely be taken into consideration while the government prepared its launch, she said.

As for the source of the 560-billion-baht fund required for this project, the committee tasked with its implementation would soon answer some of the most common questions, she added.

Pheu Thai always maintains strict financial and budgetary discipline, she said, a record evident since the days when the party was known as Thai Rak Thai.

She refuted the criticism that the governing party was simply being obstinate about the mass handout, and said a team of experts had thoroughly studied its feasibility before it introducing it as one of the party’s core policies to stimulate the economy.

“The 10,000-baht digital money project is equivalent to ‘resuscitation’ of the economy. It will literally create a ‘storm’ of economic stimulation,” she said. “Consumers will have more buying power while businesses will have better liquidity. More jobs will consequently be created and the economy that has been stagnant for years will recover and stabilise again.”

Democrat Party spokesman Ramet Rattanachaweng, meanwhile, urged the government to really listen to opposing opinions about the digital money project.

What Mr Srettha has failed to do so far is clearly explain the planned implementation of the project, particularly the source of the money needed to fund it, said Mr Ramet.

The PM has also not stated how much the project will actually stimulate the economy, compared with the inflation it will likely cause, he added.

“While several sides continuing commenting on this project, don’t simply reject their opinions as unreasonable – especially opinions from those economists and experts who really have expertise in this subject,” he said.

“They are very much concerned about the country’s overall situation and mean well.”

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