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Finance minister denies plan to lower subsidy in Khon La Khrueng scheme


Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith on Monday denied reports on Thai websites that the government would lower the cost-of-living subsidy in a Covid-linked scheme from 50 per cent to 25 per cent.

Several websites reported on Monday morning that the Finance Ministry would alter the Khon La Khrueng (half-half) scheme to Khon La Siew (75:25) scheme after the "Rao Chana" (We win) Facebook page of the ministry made a post on Sunday that the Khon La Khrueng scheme would end soon.

“Get ready to say goodbye to Khon La Khrueng and meet ‘Khon La Siew’. The government will pay 25 per cent and the people will pay 75 per cent,” the post states. The post remained on Monday afternoon even after Arkhom denied such a plan.

Under the Khon La Khrueng scheme, which has been launched in four phases so far, the government transfers a sum of money to the G Wallet account of a recipient. The provided sum can be used to subsidise half the price of goods and services the recipient pays for, with the subsidy which is limited to THB150 a day. This means when a subsidy recipient pays THB300 for goods or services, the amount in the G Wallet will be deducted by THB150 and the money of the buyer will be deducted by THB150.

Arkhom told reporters on Monday afternoon that the Finance Ministry had not yet decided on whether to launch another phase of the subsidy scheme.

He said the ministry has budget constraints and the country’s economic indicators are improving.

“It has to be considered whether those who have regular income and those with daily income will have more income after the economy has improved. This is because when the economy has improved, this kind of stimulus measure will be reduced,” Arkhom said.

“It will be Khon La Khrueng Phase 5. I didn’t say Khon La Siew. But It has to be first considered whether there should be a Phase 5.”

The finance minister affirmed that the fourth phase of the Khon La Khrueng will end as scheduled on April 30 and there will be no new measure starting on May 1 because the government will have to assess the situation and whether the subsidy measure was required.

Published : April 25, 2022

By : THE NATION