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Somkid seeks top-up for welfare debit card credit

Oct 16. 2017
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By THE NATION

DEPUTY Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak has urged Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong to consider increasing the purchasing credit available to holders of the government’s welfare debit cards.

Somkid yesterday said Apisak would have to weigh various factors before deciding how high to raise the credit for purchasing goods through the welfare cards.

Welfare-card holders are now allowed to use the debit cards to buy goods worth Bt200 to Bt300 a month from supporting shops, depending on their level of registered income.

Somkid said the government may reallocate budget funds from non-urgent projects to increase the purchasing credit for the poor.

“If possible, we will increase the money for the welfare cards’ credit. Now, it is clear that the poor want more credit for making purchases,” Somkid said.

“We may also allow the purchases of other necessities such as school uniforms for their kids.”

So far, 11.67 million people have registered to receive the government’s subsidy through the welfare card programme.

Those with income of less than Bt30,000 a year are entitled to monthly purchasing credit of Bt300, while those earning Bt30,000 to Bt100,000 a year are entitled to monthly credit of Bt200.

The welfare card holders are entitled to receive a subsidy of Bt45 for purchasing cooking gas every three months, Bt500 a month for using electric trains and buses, and Bt500 a month for using provincial buses or inter-provincial trains.

 

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