Banks start giving cash handouts to low income-earners

Three state-owned banks have started giving one-time cash handouts ranging from 1,500-3,000 baht to low income-earners in agriculture and non-farming sectors.

Government spokesman Lt-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said over the weekend that he expected the payments to the qualified recipients to be completed before the year-end as New Year’s gift from the government.

He disclosed that there are altogether 6,981,000 qualified low income-earners who are eligible to receive the cash handouts to be wired directly into their bank accounts by the three banks, namely Krung Thai, Government Savings and Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives.

Those who earn less than 30,000 baht a year will receive 3,000 baht while those earn more than 30,000 baht but not exceeding 100,000 baht will get 1,500 baht. These one-time cash handouts are applicable for those in agricultural and non-agricultural sectors.

Those who do not have bank accounts with one of the three banks have shown up to receive the handouts in person as banks have urged the qualified recipients to open an account without the need to make initial deposits, said the government spokesman.

He dismissed as groundless an online report that the cabinet recently gave a 4 percent increase to cost of living allowance to pensioners retroactively as of December 1.

He maintained the cash handouts were just a temporary measure which was implemented simultaneously with long-term economic measure to stimulate domestic consumption and the measure would not drive the poor into deeper debt.