Finance Ministry prepares assistance for state staff

Finance Ministry prepares assistance for state staff

Remedy to help 137,000 employees

The Finance Ministry is preparing to provide a financial remedy to 137,000 government contract employees to help with the cost of living, says the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO).

The government previously rolled out financial remedy measures to assist different groups affected by the pandemic crisis, including those not covered under the social security system and Government Pension Fund.

Yet a portion of government contract employees, mostly those whose monthly salary does not exceed 15,000 baht, has yet to receive any financial help, said Kulaya Tantitemit, director-general of the FPO.

To assist these low-income government contract employees, the Finance Ministry is mulling a financial remedy measure.

As government contract employees have jobs with steady income, albeit low monthly salaries, the amount of financial relief allocated to this group will not be equal to the 7,000-baht remedy for two months under the Rao Chana (We Win) scheme, said Ms Kulaya.

The remedy amount for government contract employees is being deliberated, she said.

Approved in January, the We Win scheme aims to provide 210 billion baht of financial handouts for 31 million people who are not covered by Section 33 of the Social Security Act to alleviate hardships caused by the second wave of the pandemic.

Monetary disbursement is done through the Pao Tang e-wallet app.

The government also approved the Rao Rak Kan scheme for around 9.3 million company employees -- those under Section 33 of the Social Security Act -- who will be given 1,000 baht a week for four weeks.

Separately, the FPO has been ordered to study short-term and long-term plans in preparation for managing future volatilities that can affect the economy, said Krisada Chinavicharana, permanent secretary for finance.

The think tank has also been assigned to study limitations for fiscal responsibility in an attempt to assess which policies can be loosened to accommodate existing economic conditions, said Mr Krisada.

The Finance Ministry remains confident the public debt-to-GDP ratio will not exceed the 60% ceiling, although the ratio could rise to 58-59% of GDP when the 1-trillion-baht emergency loan decree has been fully used, he said.

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