20m eligible to register for welfare cards
The cabinet has approved a new round of registration for state welfare cards, a scheme to help low-income residents cope with the rising cost of living, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said.
About 20 million people are eligible for the cards, including current cardholders.
Newly registered individuals are expected to be able to start using them on Oct 1.
Existing state welfare cardholders currently receive a monthly payment of 300 baht if a person's annual income is under 30,000 baht, or 200 baht if their annual income is between 30,000 and 100,000 baht.
Recipients can often use the cards to get discounts at some stores.
Cardholders must be at least 18 and not a monk, inmate or placed in welfare homes. They must also not be a state official or employed by state agencies.
Those eligible or their immediate family must also have an income or combined income of no more than 100,000 baht. They must not have borrowed in excess of 1.5 million baht for a home loan or 1 million baht for a car loan. They must also never have owned property.
Mr Thanakorn said the cabinet agreed on the need to eradicate flaws in the state welfare card scheme, including cancelling cards by people who failed to meet the criteria.
The authorities will now be able to check whether existing recipients qualify.
Those admitted can use their citizenship ID cards as proof.