Concern voiced that the real poor may not receive welfare fund from government

A university lecturer has expressed concern that the real low-income earners may not receive the 100-200 baht  monthly subsidy given by the government under the second phase of the State Welfare Card programme.

Assistant professor Thanawat Pholvichai

Assistant professor Thanawat Pholvichai, director of the economic and business forecast centre of the Thai Chamber of Commerce University, voiced support for the government’s additional handout scheme, saying that it would help spur the grassroot economy through increased purchasing by the low-income earners.

But he suggested that the government must make sure that only the real low-income earners stand to benefit from the 100-200 baht monthly handout, noting that there were loopholes in the previous handout scheme, with some poor missing the chance of getting the financial support.

Under the second phase of the State Welfare Card programme, low-income earners could use their ID cards to buy necessary items from selected shops equipped with EDC machines.

So far, about 20,000 EDC machines have been installed at selected shop participating in the programme. The Commerce Ministry is now trying to add another 20,000 machines.

Under the State Welfare Card programme, those who earn more less than 30,000 baht a year will receive a monthly extra of 100 baht on top of 200 baht they have already received while those who earn less than 30,000 baht a year will receive a monthly addition of 200 baht on top of 300 baht they have already been paid.

The programme will come into effect as of March.