Finance Ministry mulls new round for co-payment

Finance Ministry mulls new round for co-payment

The Finance Ministry plans to add another registration round for the second phase of the co-payment subsidy at the end of this month because 1.34 million rights have not been exercised.

Under the co-payment scheme, the government pays for 50% of food, drink and general goods purchases for up to 150 baht per person per day, capped at 3,000 baht per person for a specified duration.

The objective is to stimulate consumer spending after sentiment was gutted by the pandemic.

The first-phase scheme started on Oct 23 and ended on Dec 31.

The government allocated 30 billion baht for the first phase, covering 10 million people, with each receiving a 3,000-baht money transfer.

The second-phase co-payment scheme, which runs between Jan 1 and March 31, covers an additional 5 million people, with the amount of subsidies raised from 3,000 to 3,500 baht per person.

The government subsidy conditions stipulate spending by registrants must be made within 14 days from the first day of registration.

Of the combined 15 million subsidy rights, 13.66 million had been exercised, said Kulaya Tantitemit, acting director-general of the Fiscal Policy Office.

People who have not received the co-payment subsidy rights will be allowed to register for the remaining 1.34 million rights by the end of this month, said Ms Kulaya.

Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith recently said the Finance Ministry was looking at the possibility of rolling out a third-phase co-payment scheme following positive responses to the first two phases.

The ministry will assess the effects of the first and second phases of the scheme before deciding whether to implement a third phase, he said.

With tourism and related industries hit hard by the pandemic, the government needs to implement measures to stimulate retail spending and help keep the economy going, said Mr Arkhom.

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