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Cash handout plan for 4 million poor

NATIONWIDE: The Finance Ministry will set a budget for cash handouts to 4 million people who live below the poverty line of B30,000 a year.

economics, politics,

Bangkok Post

Thursday 4 May 2017, 09:09AM

A woman collects bottles at Hua Lamphong railway station. The poverty line is set at B30,000 in yearly income. Photo: Patipat Janthong
A woman collects bottles at Hua Lamphong railway station. The poverty line is set at B30,000 in yearly income. Photo: Patipat Janthong

It is crucial to boost the income of those who are still below the poverty line through job creation, in addition to providing social services to reduce their cost of living, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said after meeting with officials of state-owned banks and the Labour Ministry yesterday (May 3). He declined to provide details on the amount of the handouts.

Those earning B30,000-B100,000 a year will be offered welfare, Mr Somkid said.

The welfare will include discounts on train fares and free utilities up to a certain limit of electricity and tap water usage.

The welfare and subsidies will be disbursed through the national e-payment system. Registration for the scheme, starting from April 3, will run through May 15 at Krungthai Bank, the Government Savings Bank and the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives.

Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong recently said that the government could provide cash giveaways of B100 a month to those who are at the bottom rung of the economic ladder to buy goods that are essential for life at the Commerce Ministry’s Blue Flag shops.

Mr Somkid said seeking ways to boost their income is key to helping them over the poverty line, and he has asked the Labour Ministry and state-run banks to jointly initiate measures to create jobs and income for the poor.

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Mr Apisak said 9.8 million people have already signed up to get the government’s welfare and subsidies and more than 10 million are expected to register for the assistance by May 15.

The government must work towards reducing the number of people who sign up for the assistance in the future.

An annual B30-billion budget that the government has estimated for financing welfare provisions and subsidies for the poor through the national e-payment system has not accounted for the cash giveaway yet.

The planned cash handout is expected to be carried out in the 2018 fiscal year, running from Oct 1, 2017 to Sept 30, 2018. Qualified applicants will also receive welfare on Oct 1.

Read original story here.



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