The handouts will be given to poor people who earn less than B100,000 a year.
This project will be in line with a previous one approved by the cabinet to hand out six billion baht in cash to low income farmers nationwide, a source at the Finance Ministry said.
Under the previous project, farmers who earn less than B30,000 per year will receive B3,000 cash and farmers who earn more than B30,000 a year but not exceeding B100,000 a year will get B1,500 cash.
The source said only poor people registered with the national E-payment database will be eligible for the handout. The government had previously asked everyone with an annual income of less than B100,000 to register with the database.
There are about eight million people in the database, the source said. Of them, three million are farmers.
The Finance Ministry is in the process of verifying whether all of those registered in the database do in fact meet the criteria.
The source said the New Year handouts for both farmers and the poor are expected to take place late this month or early next month.
The cabinet’s approval will be sought for this cash handout project. If approved, the combined handouts for both farmers as well as poor people worth B16bn will benefit eight million people. It will also increase the public’s purchasing power and boost the economy, he said.
Previously, Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said the government plans to roll out electricity and water subsidies for low income families to mark the New Year.
He said the government would provide help, anticipated to be in the form of a rebate, to cover electricity and water bills for people who earn less than B100,000 a year.
The minister said the package will aim to reduce the cost of living for low-income residents, and is part of a series of welfare measures that also include free rides on public buses and trains.
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