Merchants told to avoid handout hype

Merchants told to avoid handout hype

A banner at a Tesco Lotus hypermarket promotes the Taste-Shop-Spend scheme to lure shoppers. The Finance Ministry has blacklisted some operators for inappropriate actions under the scheme.
A banner at a Tesco Lotus hypermarket promotes the Taste-Shop-Spend scheme to lure shoppers. The Finance Ministry has blacklisted some operators for inappropriate actions under the scheme.

The Finance Ministry has called on modern trade and convenience store operators taking part in the cash giveaway and cash rebate schemes to refrain from conducting marketing campaigns aimed at recipients.

The ministry is asking stores to avoid launching promotional campaigns or installing banners that urge recipients to spend at their stores, said Charnkitt Dejvitak, the vice-minister attached to the prime minister.

The government wants the recipients to spend voluntarily and not be swayed by promotional campaigns, Mr Charnkitt said.

The Finance Ministry has received complaints that some merchants are touting discounts or unrelated promotions to get recipients to spend the entire 1,000-baht cash handout at shops.

The ministry's random survey found that the complaints were valid and that some operators refused to give change to recipients who bought less than 1,000 baht worth of goods and services, Mr Charnkitt said.

"The Finance Ministry will randomly survey participating shops in provincial areas next week," he said.

Mr Charnkitt warned that any shops engaged in misconduct, such as offering cash instead of goods to recipients or skimming funds, would be banned from joining the scheme.

At least 10 shops have been barred from the scheme, he said, and both recipients and shops who behave inappropriately will be kept from participating in future schemes.

The government's scheme aims to circulate income in the rural economy and support the tourism sector, Mr Charnkitt said.

"The measures are part of the stimulus to boost the fourth quarter's economic growth," he said. "Some 5.65 billion baht has already been pumped into the economic system, and most of the spending comes from the 1,000-baht cash handout. The Finance Ministry is preparing to extend the cash rebate scheme period to late this year and has pinned hope on the scheme's second phase to inject more money into the system."

The Finance Ministry will bring the second phase before the cabinet this month.

The number of recipients in the second phase of the cash rebate for spending outside home provinces is expected to be limited to 5 million.

The first phase, part of a 316-billion-baht stimulus package, comprises a 1,000-baht cash giveaway and a 15% cash rebate for spending of up to 30,000 baht for 10 million recipients aged 18 and up.


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