Prayut orders review of 5k cash scheme

Prayut orders review of 5k cash scheme

Appeals can be filed starting next week

The government's 5,000-baht cash handout scheme has been placed under review due to a surge in complaints lodged by people claiming they were wrongly disqualified from the financial relief programme, according to the Finance Ministry.

However, the ministry has given its assurance that students working part-time to support themselves and their families would now also be included in the scheme.

Initially, they had not been listed among the recipients when the scheme was announced, said Lavaron Sangsnit, director of the Fiscal Policy Office in his capacity as a Finance Ministry spokesman.

Starting next week, working students will be allowed to appeal their disqualification from the cash handout scheme via the website of the government's Rao Mai Thing Kan (We won't leave anyone behind) scheme.

Meanwhile, other groups who failed the automated screening process will also be allowed to submit their appeals via the website next week, Mr Lavaron said.

The growing number of complaints about the scheme had led to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordering the Finance Ministry to review the programme.

However, Mr Lavaron dismissed critics' remarks that the review amounted to interference in the ministry, saying that Gen Prayut was working to ensure people had access to the assistance they needed.

Gen Prayut yesterday clarified on comments made on Wednesday saying that the government had enough money to pay everyone one month's worth of the handout before a government loan comes into effect.

"I was just trying to explain how we plan to spend the [stimulus] funds. I don't mean [people] will not receive the aid in full or [the government] won't pay, the premier said.

Mr Lavaron said that those hit hardest by the pandemic are getting aid through various channels.

It is not known whether the review is likely to delay payments under the scheme.

Among those receiving the cash handout includes undocumented workers. Employees in the private sector are also getting compensation under the social security system while farmers are also getting similar government aid, Mr Lavaron said.

Other groups, including the disabled, the elderly, and the destitute, are also set to receive help from the Social Development and Human Security Ministry and the Labour Ministry.

Meanwhile, Gen Viddhavat Rajatanun, the chief of the ombudsman said his office is inviting various state agencies -- including the Finance Ministry, the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry, the Education Ministry and Government Savings Bank -- to discuss a petition filed against the handout scheme.

It is also expected that a review of other complaints raised about the 5,000-baht cash handout programme will also be discussed at the meeting.

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