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No loans, govt-run funds to finance digital wallet project: Julapun


By Thai Newsroom Reporters

THE DIGITAL WALLET project will by no means be financed by any government-run funds or loans as otherwise speculated, said Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat today (Sep.11).

During the Pheu Thai-led government’s policy statement delivered to lawmakers at parliament, Julapun categorically dismissed speculation that those government-administered funds such as the Government Pension Fund, Vayupak Fund and Social Security Fund or foreign reserve would be more or less syphoned off to finance the much-heralded digital wallet project which has been estimated to cost 560 billion baht.

Neither will the government look for loans, either within the country or without, to finance the digital wallet project, Julapun said.

Under the sensational Pheu Thai electoral campaign, each Thai national at the age of 16 years and over has been promised a total of 10,000 baht in digital wallet to spend up within a six-month time in a four-kilometre radius of their registered homes.

The deputy finance minister was apparently responding to criticism that the Pheu Thai-led coalition government could practically garner no more than 400 billion baht from taxes and other state revenue to fund the digital wallet project, thus leaving the balance of 160 billion baht to question as to where that money could possibly come from.

Without elaborating, Julapun confirmed the government could practically manage to find the 560 billion baht total to finance the digital wallet project which, he said, was primarily designed to stimulate the provincial and rural economy throughout the country.

However, the four-kilo radius which may be considered too limited for rural recipients could possibly be expanded whilst maintaining the government’s primary target of boosting the rural economy, according to the deputy finance minister.

He said blockchain technology will be specifically applied to the digital wallet project to make it foolproof and transparent whilst most recipients are believed to know how to spend it wisely or help with their product or career development.

He said his core coalition partner had not meant to woo votes in last May’s election with such a populist campaign but intended to solve the country’s economic slump with it, among other economic measures.


Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat speaking at the Parliament today, Sep.11, 2023. Photos: Thai Rath

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