BANGKOK-The Ministry of Finance has so far given financial aid of 5,000 baht a month to some 1.6 million workers nationwide, to ease the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Registrants have received an SMS message regarding their eligibility for the government’s financial assistance. Some have received an SMS notification saying they are ineligible, because they are farmers. The issue has raised several questions, since they are not farmers.
The Director of the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) and Spokesman for the Ministry of Finance, Lawaron Sangsanit, explained that farmers have registered themselves with relevant agencies every year. During the registration, they are required to provide information about their family members. The government has been using this database to help farmers with their cultivation, harvesting and production expenses. If the registrant is a farmer or has family members who are farmers, the person is not qualified to receive the 5,000-baht monthly cash handout. However, measures to help farmers will be launched soon.
Mr. Lawaron said the verification process will take time. The second round of financial aid and SMS notifications is on April 13 and 14, with some 600,000 people having qualified to receive the assistance.
About 27 million people have registered for the assistance, for those who have not been verified after registration, they can file an appeal. They can still receive the cash handout for three months because payments will be made based on their registration dates. (NNT)