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State vows to include small shops in scheme

PUBLISHED : 30 Mar 2024 at 06:12

State vows to include small shops in scheme
Tourists and locals shop for goods at Chatuchak weekend market. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)

The government has pledged to establish mechanisms to support and promote small shops, allowing them to benefit from the digital wallet project.

Responding to criticism that the project favours large stores, Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat said mechanisms will be created to ensure small shops can benefit from the initiative.

The first step involves defining a small shop, he said.

According to the timeline for the digital wallet project, the Digital Wallet Policy Committee chaired by the prime minister is scheduled to convene on April 10 to address funding sources, with the budget estimated at 500 billion baht.

After committee deliberation and cabinet approval, the government can start registering stores and citizens in the third quarter, with digital payments expected in the fourth quarter.

Mr Julapun insisted the project’s details will remain unchanged, including the criteria for eligibility to receive 10,000 baht in digital money, which requires a monthly income of 70,000 baht or less and bank deposits not exceeding 500,000 baht.

Participants must use the digital money within six months, while the digital money will be valid within the system for three years.

Roughly 50 million people are estimated to be eligible for the benefit.

To enhance flexibility in digital spending, the government plans to establish connections with the digital wallets of commercial banks and state financial institutions, he said.

The funding sources for this project will be determined by the committee and cabinet, said Mr Julapun.

He emphasised the main goal of the project remains to stimulate the economy.

Regarding government revenue in the first five months of fiscal 2024 (October 2023 to February 2024), the government collected net revenue of 981 billion baht for the period, falling short of the target by 25.1 billion baht or 2.5%.

The shortfall was attributed to the reduction in gasoline excise taxes.

The government’s net revenue in the first five months of this fiscal year was 3.67 billion baht or 0.4% lower than the corresponding period of the previous year.

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