Farming households get B15,000 aid
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Farming households get B15,000 aid

Number of self-employed people eligible for aid also raised to 16 million

(File photo by Prasit Tangprasert)
(File photo by Prasit Tangprasert)

The cabinet has approved financial aid of 5,000 baht a month for three months each for 10 million farming households and increased the number of eligible self-employed people affected by coronavirus measures to 16 million from 14 million.

For the farmer group, eligible recipients are some 8.4 million farming families already registered in the government’s database. Their IDs will be used in checking the eligibility.

An estimated 1.6 million more households which haven’t registered can do so at the website of the Agricultural Extension Department by May 15, government spokeswomen Narumon Pinyosinwat said after the cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

The 150-billion-baht package is one of the three aimed at helping 37 million people affected by the government’s measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Earlier, the cabinet approved 5,000 baht a month for three months for self-employed people, laid-off or furloughed workers who are not members of the Social Security Fund, and temporary workers affected by the measures to contain Covid-19.

It initially estimated the number at 3 million but later revised it to 14 million and 16 million on Tuesday due to the overwhelming number of applicants, bringing the total budget to 240 billion baht.

When the application for the aid ended on Wednesday, 28.8 million people applied. After redundancies and identification verification, 22.3 million people entered the screening process.

Among the reasons for disqualifications are some applicants are qualified for other types of aid -- belonging to farming households (4.2 million) and having government pensions or benefits under the Social Security Fund (1.1 million). Another 950,000 cancelled their applications.

That left 16 million people eligible for the aid. Of these, 10.6 million have been approved and the Finance Ministry already transferred money to 7.5 million of them. The rest will get aid in the first week of May. 

The other group is 11 million members of the Social Security Fund who were laid off or furloughed. No central budget is used since the fund already has the money to help this group, contributed by the government over the years.

Another 14 million people belong to the vulnerable group. They include people eligible to aid for child care, senior citizens eligible for elderly allowances, registered handicapped people and the homeless. They will get 39 billion baht initially from the budget of the Social Development and Human Security Ministry and another 6 billion baht was requested from the borrowing package.

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