Officials expect cash subsidy to reach 24m
Handout uses funds from B1tn decree
The Finance Ministry predicts the 51-billion-baht cash handout to cover one-third of the population, aiming to sustain private consumption in the final quarter.
The scheme will cover 24 million people in total, with 14 million holders of state welfare cards and the remainder individuals aged 18 and up, said Lavaron Sangsnit, director-general of the Fiscal Policy Office.
The handout measure will use funds from the 1-trillion-baht loan decree, specifically the portion allocated for public aid for the crisis, worth 600 billion baht.
Monthly financial assistance will see an additional 500 baht given to 14 million low-income earners who have state welfare cards in the three months from October to December, totalling 21 billion baht.
The government will also offer 3,000 baht per person to 10 million people, totalling 30 billion baht, to buy goods during the final quarter of the year, scaling back from an earlier plan to give 45 billion baht to 15 million people.
The 50/50 co-payment scheme will allow registered people to buy at small shops, with the government subsidising 50% of the payment, up to 50 baht per day, for customers spending 100 baht.
An individual who spends 200 baht to buy goods would pay 100 baht, and the government would subsidise the remainder of the bill the next day.
Mr Lavaron said holders of state welfare cards do not have to re-register for this cash handout, but individuals who lack a state welfare card must register online from Oct 16, with spending allowed to start on Oct 23.
The measure only allows independent stores free of corporate ties to participate in the scheme to avoid channelling funds to large stores and convenience stores, he said.
Stores that took part in the Taste-Shop-Spend and We Travel Together schemes do not have to re-register, while new stores can register online starting Oct 1.
About 100,000 stores are participating in the latest cash handout, Mr Lavaron said.