Ministry setting up cash for 2m disabled

Ministry setting up cash for 2m disabled

The Finance Ministry is seeking a lifeline for the 2 million disabled and underprivileged people who are adversely affected by the coronavirus outbreak, says finance permanent secretary Prasong Poontaneat.

The ministry is working out the details with the Social Development and Human Security Ministry, which has a database of the handicapped, he said.

Handicapped lottery vendors and masseuses have been included by the Finance Ministry in the monthly 5,000-baht cash handout, but those in other fields have no such welfare.

If handicapped lottery vendors are rejected from the cash handout scheme, they can appeal via the registered website and are entitled to the subsidy after state officials visit their workplace to verify their information, Mr Prasong said.

The Finance Ministry also asked the Social Development and Human Security Ministry to help homeless people living in public venues such as Lumpini Park and Hua Lamphong railway station, he said.

The government has borrowed to help people with living costs, and all people should in turn share the government's debt burden, Mr Prasong said.

For the cash giveaway to farmers, the measure must seek cabinet approval, then the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry will take charge of the issue.

Lavaron Sangsnit, director-general of the Fiscal Policy Office, said the Finance Ministry next week will more than double its capacity to hand out money to 700,000 recipients a day on average.

The ministry currently pays the 5,000-baht cash giveaway to 200,000-300,000 recipients per day on average.

Mr Lavaron said the ministry plans to transfer the money to 1.5 million qualified recipients on Monday and Tuesday.

"We'll speed up the payments, so we want those from whom the Finance Ministry has requested additional information to quickly provide the required data to let us verify information in a rapid manner," he said.

Among the 6.3 million applicants the government has asked for additional information, 4.8 million have already submitted the information.

Of the applicants who are appealing rejection, 2.5 million have said they would let the Finance Ministry review their information.

After 17,000 state officials visited the rejected registrants who appealed, some were found to have provided fake information on their claims and the ministry will let them cancel these applications, Mr Lavaron said.

The ministry will add a feature to the website to let recipients relinquish their rights, as some of their families want to forgo the payment after the recipient's death, he said.

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