Cabinet okays measures worth B164bn
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Cabinet okays measures worth B164bn

Funding for health projects in pipeline

A sign for the Rao Chana (We Win) scheme is seen at a food stall in the Silom area of Bangkok. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)
A sign for the Rao Chana (We Win) scheme is seen at a food stall in the Silom area of Bangkok. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)

The cabinet on Tuesday approved a combined 164 billion baht worth of fresh measures to help alleviate the hardships of people affected by the pandemic as well as to fund public health projects.

Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said the budget for the measures comes from the 1-trillion-baht loan under the decree issued last year to ease the impact of the Covid-19 outbreaks.

According to Mr Anucha, of the total 17.1 billion baht is earmarked to fund three projects related to public health services, including vaccine distribution and vehicle procurement to patrol at-risk groups.

Another 23.9 billion baht is set aside to fund measures to alleviate hardships, including water and electricity subsidies (4.51 billion baht), cash handouts to 13.7 million low-income earners who hold state welfare cards of 200 baht per person, per month from July to December (16.4 billion baht), and 200-baht cash handouts to another 2.5 million vulnerable people who require special assistance (3 billion baht).

Some 121 billion baht is allocated to finance measures to increase consumption, comprising the third phase of the "Khon La Khrueng" co-payment scheme worth 93 billion; and the "Ying Chai Ying Dai" (the more you spend, the more you get) scheme worth 28 billion, he said.

Under the third phase of the co-payment scheme, the government hands out 3,000 baht per person for people to buy food and other products, with the government paying for half of the purchase cost.

Some 31 million people are expected to participate in the scheme, for which 1,500 baht is to be paid in July and the remainder in October.

The Ying Chai Ying Dai scheme offers cashback e-vouchers to people to encourage them to purchase food, products and services through the government's e-wallet programme.

Participants receive the cashback in their e-wallets at a rate of 10-15% of spending, with a limit of 7,000 baht per person.

The e-voucher caps the amount it uses to calculate the cashback at 5,000 baht daily, regardless of the daily amount spent.

The e-vouchers can be used from August until December, and 4 million people are expected to participate in the scheme focused on the middle class and high-income earners.

In a separate development, the cabinet also approved a project to support the raising of beef cattle by biotechnology worth 75.6 billion baht.

In addition, Mr Anucha said the cabinet voted for a compensation budget worth 1.57 billion baht for public health volunteers between July and September.

Fiscal Policy Office director-general Kulaya Tantitemit said the relief measures and consumption stimulus are expected to spark cash flow in the economy of more than 473 billion baht.

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