Author Topic: Low-income people around country register for new round of state welfare  (Read 735 times)

Offline Johnnie F.

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A LARGE NUMBER of low-income people queued up to apply for state welfare as the second round of registrations opened nationwide yesterday.

Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said at least 10 million people were expected to register in this round, which ends on May 15.

After the registration, welfare cards will be given to those who meet the criteria, he said.

The welfare cards will be used to access privileges extending from free tap water, electricity, and fares on public buses and trains. The types of welfare provided will be different for urban and rural people.

In Nakhon Ratchasima, several people waited for a long time in front of a number of bank branches, including Krungthai Bank’s (KTB’s) Hua Thalae and Mittraphap branches, from early morning.

Uncertain income stream

Prachoom Langmai, a 60-year-old motorcycle-taxi driver who lives on an uncertain stream of income, did not register as a low-income earner last time because he was uncertain over the government’s payment system. After acknowledging that his friends had received payments from the government, he rushed to register this time.

Three banks set up mobile registration services in Udon Thani, where a large number of people were seen queuing. The three banks were Government Savings Bank (GSB), the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) and KTB.

Supawadee Sithimalairat of the Udon Thani Provincial Treasury Office said those registering were required to disclose information such as their income, their bank deposits, other assets and liabilities to the relevant state agencies so that they can set policies to assist low-income earners properly.

Udon Thani Governor Chayawuth Chantorn said the number of registered low-income earners last year totalled 147,769 with revolving fund of Bt332.18 million in the province.

In Pattaya, Sudjai Kavichan, manager of a GSB branch there, said this year’s system was improved and about 100 people registered in the morning.

In Trang, there were reported-|ly some people waiting for docu-ments and receiving queuing |cards before BAAC opened in the morning.

Orathai Pochiew, a 32-year-old housewife with no income in Mueang district of Trang, was glad of the government’s assistance for the poor.

Rabeab Uden, manager of BAAC’s Trang branch, said a number of people registered and the bank was well prepared for one-stop services to save people’s time.

The bank plans to provide off-|site services in designated areas |in Mueang district from April 7-21 |to make registration more convenient.

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Offline Johnnie F.

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Welfare card users stock up on rice, eggs, sauce and oil
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2017, 11:48:41 AM »
New system has proven popular with low-income earners despite some early queues and minor hitches.

RICE, EGGS, cooking oil and fish sauce were the most popular items being purchased with the new welfare cash cards, according to Deputy Commerce Minister Sonthirat Sonthijirawong.

But the Commerce Ministry has also found that there have been delays in some places because some registered users did not know the amount of credit on their cards, he said.

The ministry has submitted a list of 15,489 participating shops for approval by the Comptroller General’s Department, 5,000 of which are already equipped with devices to read the cards.

Sonthirat also said the ministry would dispatch teams to organise Blue Flag product fairs at various sites later this week to accommodate demand.

On Sunday, 110,000 people – or 1 per cent of the 11.4 million registered low-income earners – used the cards to buy goods worth Bt90 million.

There were also between 200 and 300 purchases of bus tickets under the scheme on the same day.

Finance Ministry permanent secretary Somchai Sujjapongse said he would propose this month that the National e-Payment Committee give welfare-card holders entry into a monthly lucky draw featuring prizes worth Bt1 million, which would begin in November.

Meanwhile, Nakhon Ratchasima commerce official Thawatchai Laowiroon said the past two days had seen problems with the card-reading devices, including machine malfunctions and unstable Internet connections.

He said he had also heard reports that some shops that did not yet have card-reading devices had seized people’s cards in exchange for goods, or had allowed people to take goods and owe them the money. These actions could potentially cause the shops to be cut from the scheme, he said.

Meanwhile, in the northeastern province of Buri Ram, a large number of registered low-income earners crowded a Taweekit mall branch in Prakhon Chai district to buy commodities yesterday. Many were there for hours before the mall’s opening time of 9.30am, according to a reporter who saw a long queue.

The mall, which is equipped with two card readers, is the only shop in the district participating in the scheme so far, and it has reportedly received at least 1,000 registered low-income customers per day since the card went into effect on Sunday.

The scheme is meant to help people registered as earning no more than Bt100,000 a year to cope with living costs.

People earning less than Bt30,000 a year get a Bt300 monthly allowance to buy commodities from Blue Flag or other participating shops, while those earning more than Bt30,000 but less than Bt100,000 a year get a Bt200 monthly allowance

 While registered people nationwide started to reap benefits of the card on October 1, those in Bangkok and seven nearby provinces will be able to use an additional chip in their cards for city bus transport starting on October 17.

The Nation