By Thai Newsroom Reporters
DEPUTY FINANCE MINISTER Julapun Amornvivat today (Oct. 23) said Thailand’s digital wallet project is practically uncomparable to Japan’s shopping coupon programme and that the former is no copycat of the latter.
Julapun said Thailand’s economic and social conditions are largely different from those of Japan where shopping coupons had been provided over the last couple of decades, thus, he said, one is practically uncomparable to the other.
The deputy finance minister said the Pheu Thai digital wallet project will be essentially unlike the Japanese shopping coupon project in different times and under varied circumstances.
The Pheu Thai cabinet member shrugged off Move Forward MP Sirikanya Tansakul’s criticism that the Pheu Thai digital wallet was merely a copycat of Japan’s shopping coupons and that it will not bear so much fruit as promised in their electoral campaign earlier this year.
Sirikanya said most recipients nationwide would save their money and spend the 10,000- baht handout rather than increase spending out of their own pocket during a six-month period provided for use of their digital wallet.
Nevertheless, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and the Pheu Thai rank and file maintained that their populist project will substantially boost domestic consumption, stimulate the local economy nationwide, help with the creation of jobs and raise the country’s GDP.
Meanwhile, Julapun remained noncommittal over hearsay that the much-heralded populist handout campaign might be postponed from the launch date of February 1 as earlier publicly pledged by Srettha.
He declined to confirm or deny that a sizable sum of money to finance the digital wallet project might probably come from the Government Savings Bank, among other financial sources.
The contentious populist project under which each Thai national aged 16 years or over will be entitled to a sum of 10,000 baht in digital wallet to spend up in six months is calculated to need some 560 billion baht in funding.
Representative images of the digital wallet scheme. Top photo: Thai Rath, Front Page photo: Matichon