Financial support for 16 provinces

Financial support for 16 provinces

Compensation for impact of lockdown

Starting from Tuesday, people in 16 provinces affected by the government's partial Covid-19 lockdown will receive the same rates of financial aid as 13 other provinces already assisted by the Social Security Fund, the government said on Monday.

Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha stressed the need to accelerate payment of this financial assistance, saying it needed to be the same as that already given to affected parties in the first 13 provinces.

Final details of the financial compensation plan by the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) for the 16 provinces are expected to be submitted to the cabinet soon, Mr Suchart said.

These 16 provinces are Kanchanaburi, Samut Songkhram, Suphan Buri, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ratchaburi, Ang Thong, Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Lop Buri, Rayong, Sing Buri, Saraburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Phetchabun and Tak. He said 29 provinces, declared dark-red zones under the government's Covid-19 controls, are entitled to the same rates of financial assistance, which is compensation for the lockdown's impact.

"In the first group of 13 provinces to receive the compensation, the payment of 2,500 baht per person for employees under Section 33 of the Social Security Act will take place from tomorrow until Friday in Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala and Songkhla," Mr Suchart said.

He said that the payment of the same type of compensation for Section 33 employees and their employers in Chon Buri, Ayutthaya and Chachoengsao is expected to be made on Aug 9.

"Workers registered under Sections 39 and 40 of the Social Security Act, a broad group of freelance workers and self-employed people, will likely begin receiving the 5,000-baht compensation from Aug 24 onward," Mr Suchart said. "Parties affected by the Covid-19 lockdown in the first 13 provinces will also receive more compensation after the government resolved to extend the lockdown for another month."

Mr Suchat also responded to a call by the Thai Taxi Network Association to include taxi drivers, older than 65 years of age, as beneficiaries under Section 40 of the Social Security Act, saying he will ask the NESDC to amend its compensation rules and forward them to the cabinet for approval.

Meanwhile, retailer and restaurant groups welcomed a government decision to allow restaurants in shopping malls in the 29 provinces to continue with their food delivery services during the lockdown.

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