By Thai Newsroom Reporters
THE PHEU THAI-LED government’s digital wallet policy will likely not be funded by any financial sources other than the Government Savings Bank, said Move Forward MP Sirikanya Tansakul today (Sep.25).
The opposition MP posted on her Facebook page to fuel hearsay that the electoral campaign-promised digital wallet policy, calculated to cost some 500 billion baht, will likely be funded by the Government Savings Bank and that such funding may be disconnected with an annual state budget for which no approval from lawmakers will be needed.
But Sirikanya contended that the digital wallet policy would almost certainly incur heftier debt burdens onto future governments throughout the next decade whilst the current Pheu Thai-led one would not manage to find a relative sum of money to settle in the first place.
Though such debt which will likely be owed to the Government Savings Bank may by no means be repaid with the lawmakers-approved state budget, it will unnecessarily be owed by future governments, the Move Forward MP said.
She said the state-run bank’s liquidity could be critically lacking in years to come, given probable failures on the part of the current government to repay either for partial principal or interest.
The government is already shouldering a huge amount of outstanding combined debt to repay on a yearly basis to the Bank for Agriculture & Cooperatives and Government Savings Bank, among other state-run creditor agencies.
She suggested Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin who concurrently performs as finance minister and chairman of the National Fiscal Policy Committee think twice about the campaign-promised digital wallet policy initiated by the ruling Pheu Thai.
Nevertheless, the prime minister has earlier said he is yet to unveil where the planned 500-billion-baht funding for the digital wallet policy will substantially come from but reassured that it will by no means involve loans from any financial sources, either domestic or foreign, or be included in the deficit-ridden annual state budget.
The contentious populist policy will supposedly hand out 10,000 baht in digital wallet to each Thai national at the age of 16 or over to buy goods and services in a four-kilometre radius of their registered homes within a six-month time.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin unveiling his 10,000 baht digital wallet policy while campaigning before the May 14, 2023 general election. Top photo: Thai Rath, Front Page photo: Matichon