Thailand’s digital wallet budget faces review

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

A portion of Thailand’s 2025 national budget designated for the government’s digital wallet scheme is likely to be reconsidered by the special House Committee vetting the budget bill within the next couple of weeks, according to Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat.

Julapun, who serves as vice chairman of the 72-member committee, commented on the panel’s decision to suspend scrutiny over a request to allocate 152.7 billion baht from the central fund for the digital wallet programme.

A social media post by Move Forward Party (MFP) list-MP and committee member Sirikanya Tansakul revealed that the panel decided to pause deliberations pending further details.

Sirikanya explained that the request for 152.7 billion baht was submitted with only a one-page document, and the budget needs to come from the central fund as no agency has been appointed to oversee it yet.

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Julapun, who chaired the meeting on June 26, acknowledged the budget request’s lack of details and stated that a representative from the Finance Ministry was not adequately prepared to respond to inquiries.

The representative was tasked with explaining the issue in place of the finance permanent secretary, who had to attend a meeting with the prime minister.

Julapun decided to ask the Finance Ministry to provide more comprehensive information even though he, as the deputy finance minister responsible for the digital wallet scheme, had the necessary details to answer the committee’s questions.

“I’m also an MP, so I have to respect the committee members. Having complete information is also important, so we won’t proceed until it’s clear. So I asked the finance permanent secretary [Lavaron Sangsnit] to answer the questions in person and provide complete information.”

Julapun added that there is no specific timeline for when this part of the budget will return to the committee for consideration, but it is expected to be reviewed in one or two weeks.

The deputy finance minister also mentioned that it is standard procedure for the House committee to suspend deliberation on any item if the provided information is insufficient. Despite the delay, he expressed confidence that the handout scheme would be implemented as planned, reported Bangkok Post.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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