New co-payment phase may expand

New co-payment phase may expand

Ministry willing to cater to demand

A sign is displayed in front of a shop participating in the Khon La Khrueng (half-half) co-payment scheme at Chatuchak weekend market. Pornprom Satrabhaya
A sign is displayed in front of a shop participating in the Khon La Khrueng (half-half) co-payment scheme at Chatuchak weekend market. Pornprom Satrabhaya

The Finance Ministry is willing to expand eligibility for phase 3 of the Khon La Khrueng co-payment scheme beyond the original limit of 31 million people, says director-general of the Fiscal Policy Office Kulaya Tantitemit.

Phase 3 of the scheme opened registration on Monday, when more than 20 million people signed up as of 2pm. The scheme is part of the government's relief measures to help those affected by the pandemic.

Registration is open from 6am to 10pm and is programmed to close once the number of participants reaches 31 million.

Ms Kulaya said although the limit of 31 million is sufficient to cover everyone nationwide who should receive rights under the scheme, the ministry is ready to consider expanding the limit to cater to overwhelming demand.

Under phase 3 of the scheme, the government pays for half of food, drink and general goods purchases of up to 150 baht per person per day, capped at 3,000 baht per person. This subsidy programme expires in December.

The first and second phases limited the number of recipients to 10 million and 5 million each, respectively.

The first phase began last October and ended in December. The second phase began in January and ended in March.

The government's six existing relief measures cover 51 million people, including the "Rao Chana" scheme, "Section 33 Rao Rak Kan" (we love each other), Khon La Khrueng, the project to provide extra money to state welfare cardholders, and the project to give extra money to those needing special aid.

The other measure is the e-voucher handout scheme "Ying Chai Ying Dai" (the more you spend, the more you get), which is scheduled to begin next month. These six projects, costing 225 billion baht, were funded by the 1-trillion-baht emergency loan decree, aiming to help people cope with hardships caused by the pandemic.

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