Banks enlisted to help with We Win scheme

Banks enlisted to help with We Win scheme

People without smartphones can sign up for the "Rao Chana" (We Win) financial aid scheme at state banks that have branches nationwide, says Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow.

Mr Supattanapong made the announcement on his Facebook page yesterday regarding the scheme worth 210 billion baht approved by the cabinet on Tuesday.

Under the Rao Chana scheme, the government provides a total of 7,000 baht per person over two months to 31 million people affected by the pandemic.

Recipients must meet the stated criteria of annual income and bank savings. Those with an annual income exceeding 300,000 baht and with savings of more than 500,000 baht as of Dec 31 last year will not qualify.

Others ineligible for financial aid are subscribers of the social security system, government officials and employees of state enterprises.

Registration runs from Jan 29-Feb 12 on www.เราชนะ.com.

Recipients will not receive cash -- the scheme uses a model similar to the co-payment subsidy programme known as "Khon La Khrueng", in which the money is transferred via the Pao Tang app and used to buy food, drinks and essential items.

The scheme drew immediate criticism on social media for its complexity and limited coverage.

Mr Supattanapong said the government already talked with state banks and they all agreed to assist the scheme.

"The government already contacted state banks to help people with neither state welfare cards nor smartphones to register for Rao Chana," he said.

Mr Supattanapong cited the latest survey from the National Statistical Office that there were 56.7 million smartphone users in 2019 and 96.4% of them could access the internet. Some 13.8 million people do not own a smartphone and are entitled to the state welfare card programme.

He said Rao Chana is not disbursed as cash because the government wants to stimulate steady spending on essential goods.

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