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Bangkok Post - Pheu Thai shelves digital cash plan
Pheu Thai shelves digital cash plan
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Pheu Thai shelves digital cash plan

Pheu Thai's digital wallet scheme will be shelved for the time being to make way for the social welfare policies of the Move Forward Party (MFP), according to the party's secretary-general, Paopoom Rojanasakul.

Speaking after a meeting of the party's economic team on Thursday, Mr Paopoom said while the country would still benefit from further economic stimulus, the scheme, which would cost 560 billion baht, will be put on hold.

The decision was taken to allow the MFP to make good on its promises to improve social welfare through policies which analysts have estimated would cost around the same as Pheu Thai's digital wallet scheme, he said.

The MFP, which will lead the formation of the coalition government, has vowed to focus on education, children, people with disabilities and retirees.

Mr Paopoom said the meeting also discussed which of the party's economic policies will be pushed at talks with other coalition partners. These will include tax reforms, measures to boost exports and foreign direct investment, tackle non-performing loans, especially in the SME sector, and other problems relating to ageing society tax reforms.

The party wants to seek new markets for the export sector with a focus on the Middle East and develop products and services to meet market demand better. It also advocates a flexible policy to attract FDI, and there will be no "one size fits all" approach, he said.

With regards to non-performing loans in the SME sector, Mr Paopoom said defaults are on the rise and measures are needed to tackle the problems before they worsen.

He said the team debated ways to find new sources of revenue to offset expenditures which are expected to spike, as well as how to increase efficiency in the agriculture sector and the appropriate minimum wage.

Mr Paopoom said the minimum wage and the establishment of new economic zones would be raised at a June 6 meeting with prospective coalition partners.

He declined to comment on the MFP's economic policies, which have come under criticism as they would result in higher taxes, saying every policy has its advantages and disadvantages.

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