Corruption potential in the 10,000-baht digital wallet scheme

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Despite potential warnings from the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), the government has confirmed plans to proceed with the 10,000-baht digital wallet scheme.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat agreed to let the digital wallet policy committee begin work next week.

The focus of the forthcoming meeting will be on the potential for corruption during the handout process and the strategic planning involved. While there is an NACC panel currently studying the policy, it has not yet submitted its final report. Regardless, the committee has decided to commence their work.

The policy committee will be split into two groups. One will conduct public hearings while the other will assess the project. The first group will gather comments from the public and both public and private agencies, with a two-week deadline set. The second group, without a deadline, will scrutinise the handout results, including any alleged corruption.

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Despite a 560-billion-baht loan bill being drafted, the scheme’s rollout, initially planned for May, has been postponed. The start date for the Pao Tang wallet app handout remains uncertain.

Julapun stated that the government might consider using the bill if necessary, but it is not our first choice at this stage, reported Bangkok Post.

Earlier this week, an NACC source disclosed that the commission intends to highlight three main concerns in a revised report on the scheme submitted a few weeks ago. This is an improvement from the previous nine suggestions offered by the NACC panel.

In response to concerns that the handout could trigger an economic crisis, the government has reduced the scope of the handout. The NACC also advised the committee against utilising language that could mislead people into thinking the scheme is a promise to give policy, in accordance with the Organic Act on the Election of Members of the House of Representatives 2018.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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