The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a Bt1.705-billion budget for identity smartcards for welfare entitlements for 14 million low-income people and 4.5 million civil servants.
Most of the money, Bt1.581 billion, will be spent creating smartcards for 14.12 million low-income citizens who have registered for state welfare and whose credentials are currently being inspected.
The cards contain two memory chips, one to be used in paying fares on public transport and similar services and the other for making payments via Electronic Data Capture devices.
The cards will also cover welfare funds to which the holder is entitled, such as old-age and disability allowances.
Bt124 million of the budget will pay for civil service welfare cards to be in use beginning on October 1 with the aim of curbing abuses of medical welfare.