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Premier rallies support for digital wallet scheme

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is urging people who support the government's 10,000-baht digital wallet plan to make their voices heard amid calls for a review of the scheme by economic experts.

Speaking during his visit to Phitsanulok, Mr Srettha said the government is determined to roll out the giveaway in February. The goal of the scheme is to inject money into the system and people’s pockets, he said.

Mr Srettha said if people want the giveaway, they should make their voices heard and should not let those who disagree stop it from materialising. The government can use some moral support, he said.

Mr Srettha, an active social media user even before assuming office, has used his X account to rally people in support of the digital wallet policy.

There, he insisted the government listens to criticism over the plan and will use public input to fine-tune the scheme to make it work for everyone.

He touted the benefits of having 560 billion baht injected into people’s pockets and how it will drive the manufacturing sector and create employment opportunities.

“If you agree with me and like this scheme, don’t let those who are opposed to it without reasons to put a brake on it,” he said.”Let us know you’re happy with it and are glad to have the scheme.

“We also want support because we’re here to work,” he added.

Deputy Minister of Finance Julapun Amornvivat on Saturdaydenied reports the scheme would be scaled down to only cover the underprivileged, adding the fund is not being slashed from 560 billion baht to 400 billion baht as reported.

Mr Julapun, chair of a sub-panel under the digital wallet policy committee, said his team is still gathering proposals and it expects to finalise the matter in two weeks before submitting its plan to the policy committee.

The committee is expected to scrutinise the plan, including the exact budget and its sources, and consider approving the digital wallet scheme’s implementation.

He said the scheme is intended to stimulate the economy, not provide assistance to members of specific groups. However, the government needs to carefully consider the policy in the wake of criticism.

He said it is possible that the scheme will require less than 560 billion baht but more study is needed to ensure that it will work as intended.

He said the number of people eligible to receive the handout is estimated to be about 54.8 million, not 56 million.

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