Second committee to vet digital wallet

Second committee to vet digital wallet

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Nov 10 last year explains the new criteria for the government’s 10,000-baht digital wallet programme. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Nov 10 last year explains the new criteria for the government’s 10,000-baht digital wallet programme. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

The government has defended its decision to have a new sub-committee vet the digital wallet scheme, saying that it is treading carefully with the plan following Move Forward Party (MFP) list-MP comments that the delay might disrupt the economy.

Kittirat Na Ranong, chief adviser to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, said that it is normal to have a sub-committee to work inclusively on this kind of project. He added that the government is not merely trying to buy time, as it has been publicly accused of recently.

A new committee was formed on Thursday to study feedback as the scheme's details are finalised and passed to related agencies to scrutinise over the next 30 days, as suggested by the Council of State and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).

Mr Kittirat said that the sub-committee would thoroughly study the policy and its budget as the 10,000-baht handout has not been included in the budget for the 2024 fiscal year.

During Thursday's meeting, Mr Srettha said he wanted the scheme to be more transparent and beneficial for the public.

As many were concerned about the economy still being more sluggish than it had been before the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Srettha said that other policies to help reduce people's expenses, increase their income and suspend debt, as well as stimulate foreign investment and the tourism sector, are also under consideration.

Sirikanya Tansakul, MP-list for the Move Forward Party (MFP) and its deputy leader, had earlier commented that repeated delays to the digital handouts might lead to economic uncertainty.

Ms Sirikanya stated that the government should get the ball rolling and decide on its next move more quickly.

Democrat MP Jurin Laksanawisit also criticised the "continually" revised deadlines, which he suggested could result from government doubts over its legality. He said nobody wanted a reoccurrence of the notorious rice-pledging scheme of the Yingluck Shinawatra government.

Mr Jurin doubted if the first reading of the scheme would make it to the House on time, as the general meeting sessions will end on April 9.

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