The government is preparing to open a new round of registrations for the state welfare card scheme as a New Year’s present for the public, under which 15 million people are expected to benefit.
Prime Minister’s Office spokesperson Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha has been closely following the situation of commodity prices and has tasked agencies with addressing price issues. The Ministry of Finance had been told to review the state welfare card scheme for low-income earners, and the meeting of the committee overseeing the welfare card has endorsed using the citizen I.D. cards instead of state welfare cards so people will have more convenience when making purchases under the welfare scheme.
Mr. Thanakorn revealed that a new round of registrations will be held and organizers are planning to set up registration points to accommodate low-income earners who may not have access to smartphones. The physical sites will also allow for better determination of a registrant’s eligibility for welfare. 15 million people are expected to become enrolled in this round of registrations, which will be open to new applicants and existing welfare cardholders who wanted a re-evaluation of their benefits. There are currently about 13.6 million state welfare cardholders.
The new round of registrations will involve additional screening criteria such as annual household income, which will be limited to 200,000 baht. Assets owned will also be taken into consideration. Mr. Thanakorn said the Fiscal Policy Office is currently going over said criteria and will be submitting them to the Cabinet before the registration round opens.
The spokesman added that the government wanted to complete the process within the year’s end, so the revised welfare card scheme can become a New Year’s present for the public. (NNT)