Government under fire for 2.6 million baht purchase of iPhones

The government is under fire for the procurement of over 100 iPhones for staff worth some 2.6 million baht with opposition MPs criticizing the spending at a time of economic downturn.

A government official explained on Wednesday that the procurement of 111 iPhones is to ensure public administration and enhance speed in coordination.

An advisor to the Prime Minister’s Office, Nattariya Taweewong, told reporters at the Government House that the new phones were purchased to increase efficiency.

“The purchase was approved within the budget and categorized as a durable good,” she said.

According to the leaked document, the procured iPhone 12s includes 128GB  for senior officials and 64GB for lower-ranking officials.

“Please be ensured that the procurement was only made for the public benefit, and for officials to provide better services to the people,” Nattaya said.

Amarat Chokepamitkul, a Member of Parliament for the Move Forward Party, told Thai Enquirer she thinks the government is making unnecessary purchases while telling its people to practice sufficiency economy.

“The budget can be spent on other appropriate matters. Other government sectors are facing a lack of facilities,” she said, alluding to the economic downturn caused by covid.

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