700,000 to miss out on state help

700,000 to miss out on state help

Krisada: Assets of some too high
Krisada: Assets of some too high

More than 700,000 of the 14.1 million Thais who registered for the government's subsidy and welfare scheme this year have been disqualified during an initial check of information they provided, the Fiscal Policy Office's (FPO) chief says.

The 700,000 did not qualify as their income or assets exceeds the scheme's maximum requirement. Another 10,000 were also disqualified as some had died soon after registering and the names of others do not match their household registration, Krisada Chinavicharana, director-general of the FPO, said.

The Finance Ministry's criteria for aid requires applicants to be unemployed or have an annual income of 100,000 baht or less last year. They must also have savings, bonds or savings certificates worth less than 100,000 baht in total. If applicants own property, the area must not exceed 35 square metres for a condo unit, 25 square wah for a townhouse or 10 rai of land for agricultural purposes.

He said the ministry also hires 70,000 students across the country to survey the living conditions and double-check information declared by registrants.

Permanent secretary for finance Somchai Sujjapongse said recently 7.5 million of the 14.1 million registrants claimed they earn an annual income of less than 30,000 baht and the ministry is verifying their declarations.

It has predicted that more than half this year's registrants will declare a total annual income of under 30,000 baht with many of them understating their income to take advantage of the scheme to offer more financial aid to those living below the poverty line. Those who are qualified will receive help to meet their basic needs, in addition to other measures such as subsidised transport and utility bills, for those earning 30,000-100,000 baht a year.

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