Handout cash not on agenda yet, says PM

Handout cash not on agenda yet, says PM

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, right, chairs a meeting on the digital wallet handout scheme at Government House on March 27. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, right, chairs a meeting on the digital wallet handout scheme at Government House on March 27. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

The cabinet's weekly meeting on Tuesday did not touch on a new source of money to finance the digital wallet scheme which may involve tapping into next fiscal year's budget.

Prime Minister and Finance Minister Srettha Thavisin disclosed that the 10,000-baht handout scheme was not on the cabinet agenda on Tuesday.

He was responding to speculation a new funding option for the ruling Pheu Thai Party's flagship programme was to be mulled over at Tuesday's cabinet meeting.

Mr Srettha said the issue will be made clear on April 10 when the digital wallet policy committee convenes to discuss the funding sources.

Earlier, Lawaron Saengsanit, permanent secretary for the Finance Ministry, said a meeting of the digital wallet policy committee instructed the ministry and the Budget Bureau to consider possible funding sources for the scheme. The meeting was chaired by the premier.

A Government House source said Mr Srettha had ordered the Finance Ministry and the Budget Bureau to jointly work out the viability of each funding option before the policy committee meets on April 10.

A source in the Finance Ministry said the policy committee has so far agreed to tap the funds for the wallet scheme from budgets of both fiscal years rather than the procurement of a loan via an act or a combination of loans and budget.

However, it is far from certain where the remainder of the scheme's budget will come from, according to the source.

Mr Srettha said Tuesday he would rather leave the funding matter to be resolved on April 10 before forwarding it to that week's cabinet meeting for further discussion.

"This is so that we can prevent any confusion," the prime minister said.

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