The government’s latest subsidized-shopping campaign has gotten off to a good start in Pattaya with both buyers and sellers happy with the program.
The “Let’s Go Halves” co-pay scheme provides a 50-percent subsidy for products purchased from participating retailers and street vendors from October to December.
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However, the subsidy is capped at 3,000 baht a person and only a maximum of 250 baht can be spent a day. It also requires all purchases to be paid for through Krungthai Bank’s online wallet Pao Tang app.
The campaign is open to 15 million consumers over age 18 and about 80,000 retailers and street vendors can participate. Alcohol and cigarettes are exempted.
For merchants, shoppers pay half price for products and the government pays the other half the following day.
Johnny Koksung, a cook-to-order chef on Soi Photisan, said his earnings have doubled since the program began last month with many customers asking if he is enrolled.
Panthip Saaum, who sells fried mussels and pad Thai on Soi Khopai, signed up immediately for the campaign as there is a lot of customer demand. He’s pleased that small, independent business owners can join and not just big companies.
Pattaya bar workers, whose earnings have been hard hit by the recession, said they joined the program as it helps reduce their daily expenses. They said 150 baht a day is not a lot, but does cover food expenses.