Finance Ministry upbeat on cash rebate scheme

Finance Ministry upbeat on cash rebate scheme

The Finance Ministry is optimistic spending for the cash rebate of up to 20% under the Chim, Shop, Chai (taste, shop, spend) scheme will accelerate after the budget for the 1,000-baht cash handout is exhausted.

Recipients of the scheme's first two phases have spent 12.4 billion baht, of which 12.3 billion came from the 1,000-baht cash giveaway and the remaining 100 million as part of the 15-20% cashback scheme through Krungthai Bank's (KTB) Pao Tang G-wallet 2 app, said Pornchai Triraveja, policy adviser of the Fiscal Policy Office.

Even though spending via the G-wallet 2 remains minimal, the ministry hopes more recipients will spend for the cash rebate after the handout funds are spent, he said.

The cabinet on Tuesday approved the third phase of the scheme. Some 2 million new registrants, of which 500,000 are allotted for elderly people, are eligible for the new phase.

Unlike the previous two phases, the third offers a cash rebate for spending at participating merchants anywhere in Thailand, including recipients' home provinces, while those who sign up for the third phase are no longer eligible for the 1,000-baht cash handout.

The third phase also allows those who buy tour packages, air tickets and lodging for domestic travel to take part in the scheme. Recipients receive 15% cash back for spending of up to 30,000 baht at participating merchants and the rebate rises to 20% for 30,001 to 50,000 baht spent, with up to 8,500 baht available as cashback.

All phases of the scheme will end in January because the government aims to boost domestic expenditure only until Chinese New Year.

Some 10 million participants in the first phase and 3 million in the second received a 1,000-baht cash handout and a cash rebate of up to 20%.

Registration for the scheme opens twice a day between 6am and 6pm, starting from yesterday with a daily quota of 750,000.

A quota of 500,000 will be offered to the elderly, who are required to register starting Nov 17.

Mr Pornchai said 11.6 million of the 13 million recipients for the first two phases completed the registration process, and 11.4 million spent the 1,000-baht cash giveaway.

Meanwhile, KTB president Payong Srivanich said the bank launched a lucky draw campaign to win gold as a way to encourage the scheme's recipients to spend more through G-wallet 2.

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