Former senator Rosana Tositrakul has asked the Election Commission to investigate the legality of the government's planned 10,000-baht digital money handout.
Her move came as Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat admitted the government had yet to find a way to fund the scheme.
Ms Rosana wrote on Facebook that she sent a letter to the EC requesting it probe the "digital wallet" scheme of the coalition-core Pheu Thai Party.
She asked the commission to look into how Pheu Thai would fund the scheme. The party earlier told the EC it would be covered by the annual national budget.
Ms Rosana said if the national budget could not fund the handout and the government needed to borrow to implement it, the EC should consider whether the funding would be legal or not.
She said there was no economic crisis that could justify the digital money handout.
The government has said it will be paid via a digital wallet to all Thais aged 16 years or more, with eligibility criteria still to be decided.
Deputy Finance Minister Julapun said the sub-committee planning the details of the handout had still not scheduled its next meeting. The meeting last week was postponed because the panel had not agreed how the scheme would be funded.
The government estimated the cost at 548 billion baht based on 10,000 baht worth of digital money to people aged 16 or more - an estimated 54.8 million of them.
Mr Julapun said there were many major factors that could delay the handout, currently set for around February next year.
They included where the money would come from, legal compliance and the security of the digital handout system, which should also protect personal data, he said.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said later on Monday that he would proceed with the digital wallet scheme but the government was refining the details.
“We are adjusting this policy in relation to the source of money and spending methods,” he said.
He could not say at this time if people would receive the handout on Feb 1, 2024, as earlier announced. The government would give that answer later, he said.
Rosana Tositrakul (Photo from her Facebook account)