People queue at the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives in Nakhon Ratchasima province in May to register as poor and receive assistance from the government. (File photo by Prasit Tangprasert)
The Finance Ministry will issue electronic cards providing 11.6 million poor people with monthly government subsidies to offset the cost of living, beginning on Sept 21, Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said on Friday.
He would seek formal cabinet approval for the scheme soon.
The 11.6 million people are among 14.1 million people who recently sought to register as being poor.
The minister said some applicants were disqualified for failing to meet criteria such as how much property they own, bank deposits and annual income.
Subsidies to be paid through electronic cards could be spent on water and electricity fees, travel on trains and buses, discounted products sold at the ministry’s Blue Flag outlets, school uniforms and equipment, and fertiliser, Mr Apisak said.
The subsidies would be paid monthly. Unspent subsidies could not be accumulated for future spending. The e-cards would be distributed from Sept 21 onwards and could be used from Oct 1 on.
Mr Apisak also said the government would set up a 40-billion-baht public welfare fund, and would also accept donations to add to it.