13 million low income earners expected to register after registration ends today

The Finance Ministry says a total of 13 million low income earners are expected to register for state welfares and benefits under the government’s poverty registration scheme.

Today will be the last day for registration after it opened on April 3.

Registration is available at three state banks, Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, Government Savings​ Bank and Krung Thai Bank, all Bangkok’s district offices, and all provincial finance offices.

The ministry’s permanent secretary Somchai Sajjapongse said after today’s deadline ended, no extension would be sought again.

He said about 12.5 million people have registered so far.

But by the end of the deadline today, it was expected that 13 million people would register, lower than the projected 15 million.

He attributed public relations campaign that could not reach people in remote areas as main reason for the lower turnout, thus discouraging rural low income earners from registering.

He affirmed that after the end of registration today, the government would not extend the registration period.

People qualified for the scheme must have an annual income of less than 100,000 baht, must not own a house or townhouse exceeding 25 square wah, or condominium room exceeding 35 square metres or own land for farming purpose exceeding 10 rais.

The scheme was launched for the low income earners in 2016, when some 8.27 million people applied. Almost 7 million were accepted.

The Government handed out 3,000 baht per person to those earning up to 30,000 baht a year. Those earning from 30,000 to 100,000 baht a year were entitled to 1,500 baht.

For this year, the assistance cash handouts will be paid via the national e-payment scheme which welfare and subsidies can be directed to the recipients.