Thailand extends the 7,000 baht “Rao Chana” scheme to 33.5 million Thais

The Ministry of Finance, said today that the new proposal will increase the number of people eligible for the “Rao Chana” relief package to 33.5 million while raising the budget to 3 billion baht.

Under the scheme, each of the 33.5 million recipients will have 7,000 baht wired into their “Pao Tang” accounts in seven weekly instalments of 1,000 baht. The deadline extension until the end of June will also help to mitigate the impact of the new COVID-19 outbreak.

The Rao Chana scheme provides 7,000 baht in subsidies to each person registered as being affected by the COVID-19 situation.

The Ministry of Finance has clarified that the Rao Chana scheme is not accepting new applicants at this time, and the additional 3- billion-baht budget approved by the Cabinet is for funding the program which has been extended for another month.

The cabinet approved to extend the deadline for people to use the cash payments by one more month, from May 31 to June 30, and increase the number of recipients to 2.4 million.

So far, there are 32.8 million Rao Chana participants, 13.7 million of whom are state welfare cardholders, 16.8 million are new registrants and people whose information is already in the database of the Pao Tang application, and 2.3 million are people who need special assistance or those registering without smartphones.

The scheme has led to more than 200 billion baht being circulated in the economy, encompassing 1.3 million registered retail outlets.

However, the government has warned people not to misuse the financial aid, such as swapping the subsidy for cash or unfairly raising product prices.

The Ministry of Finance has coordinated with the Ministry of Commerce, the Royal Thai Police and relevant agencies to monitor and inspect related activities. If shop owners and welfare recipients are found to have violated the conditions, their privileges will be revoked and they may face legal action. The government asks them to cooperate by following the scheme’s conditions.

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