Digital projects allocated B2.4bn funding boost

Digital projects allocated B2.4bn funding boost

The government has allocated 2.4 billion baht in fiscal 2022 to continue the implementation of six key projects under the Thailand Digital Government Development Plan (2023-27).

The budgeted spending is 20% higher than the 2 billion baht previously set aside in fiscal 2021.

According to Supot Tiarawut, president and chief executive of Digital Government Development Agency (DGA), the six projects include the use of the One identification programme.

The One SME scheme, handled by the Office of SMEs Promotion, aims to strengthen small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), helping 3 million of them access government e-services and promoted government projects.

The second project is a welfare platform that is projected to allow people to access information about state welfare programmes, while the third project focuses on digital transcripts.

Some 22 universities have already joined the digital transcript project, with some of them implementing it in 2020.

The digital transcript project will be developed further to allow students to pay tuition fees online and link with overseas universities, said Mr Supot.

Three private organisations -- the Thai Bankers' Association, the Federation of Thai Industries and the Thai Chamber of Commerce -- have agreed to support members using digital transcripts for job applications.

Related agencies are expected to develop workforce data and workforce development, completing an e-workforce ecosystem, he said.

The fourth project is related to data development for the agricultural sector, helping to harvest information about farming, said Mr Supot.

The fifth project is a law portal to enhance the process of public participation and complaint procedures for the public, while the sixth project is about health and medical services.

The DGA and related agencies plan to develop applications to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infections, alongside digital health certificates.

In a related development, Danucha Pichayanan, secretary-general to the National Economic and Social Development Council, said the Centre for Economic Situation Administration recently ordered the Digital Economy and Society Ministry to quickly finalise incentives to be offered to providers of data centres and cloud services for its next meeting in January.

Mr Danucha said unclear criteria has led foreign investors to baulk at investing in data centres and cloud services in Thailand.

He said data centres and cloud computing services are activities that require a steady power supply, but investors are concerned about carbon neutrality.

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