Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripithak said on Monday that he had told Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong to consider increasing purchasing credit for the poor who hold the government’s welfare debit cards.
Somkid 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 program.
Those with income less than Bt30,000 a year are entitled to monthly purchasing credit of Bt300 while those with Bt30,000 to Bt100,000 income 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.