Cabinet green lights B54.5bn assistance

Cabinet green lights B54.5bn assistance

Cash to support those affected by pandemic

A sign is displayed in front of a shop participating in the 'Khon La Khrueng' (Let's Go Halves) co-payment subsidy scheme at Chatuchak weekend market. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)
A sign is displayed in front of a shop participating in the 'Khon La Khrueng' (Let's Go Halves) co-payment subsidy scheme at Chatuchak weekend market. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

The cabinet yesterday approved the distribution of a further 54.5 billion baht to help alleviate the hardship of those affected by the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic and to boost domestic consumption.

According to government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, the new measures, which will be funded by the second 500-billion-baht emergency loan decree, will primarily support four schemes.

They comprise the third phase of the co-payment subsidy scheme "Khon La Khrueng" (42 billion baht); cash handouts to low-income earners who hold state welfare cards (8.12 billion baht) and vulnerable people who need special assistance such as the elderly, the disabled, bed-ridden patients and those without smartphones (1.38 billion baht); and the "Ying Chai Ying Dai" (the more you spend, the more you get) scheme worth 3 billion baht.

Under the third phase of the Khon La Khrueng co-payment subsidy scheme running from July 1 to Dec 31, the government will hand out 4,500 baht each for people to buy food and other products, with the government paying for half of the purchase cost.

Some 28 million people are entitled to participate in the scheme in which 1,500 baht was transferred on July 1, with another 1,500 baht each paid on Oct 1 and on Nov 1.

Meanwhile, around 13.53 million low-income earners who hold state welfare cards will receive an additional 300 baht per person per month between November and December.

Moreover, another 2.3 million vulnerable people who need special assistance will also receive the same amount.

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

Participants will receive cashback in their e-wallets at a rate of 10-15% of spending, with a maximum limit of 10,000 baht per person, up from 7,000 baht previously offered.

The e-vouchers can be used from November and December.

In a related development, Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow said the Finance Ministry and the National Economic and Social Development Council are studying whether the government should implement additional measures in the fourth quarter of this year and early 2022.

He said the Thai economy is likely to start improving in the last quarter of this year.

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