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BANGKOK (NNT) – Following the government’s Rao Chana scheme, which provides 7,000 baht in subsidies to each person registered as being affected by the COVID-19 situation, the cabinet meeting today (Apr 20) resolved 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.

Director-General of the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO), Dr. Kulaya Tantitemit, as Spokeswoman for the Ministry of Finance, said today that the proposal will increase the number of people eligible for the relief package to 33.5 million, while raising the budget to 3 billion baht. The deadline extension will mitigate the impact of the new COVID-19 outbreak.

So far, there are 32.8 million Rao Chana participants, 13.7 million of whom are state welfare card holders, 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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