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Phase 2 of travel stimulus may be cancelled due to fraud, as PM said to be “furious”

Maya Taylor

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Phase 2 of travel stimulus may be cancelled due to fraud, as PM said to be “furious” | The Thaiger
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Officials are considering cancelling the next phase of the government’s domestic tourism stimulus campaign, after multiple cases of fraud emerged. To date, over 200 people have been prosecuted for corruption in the domestic travel campaign, as well as in other government stimulus schemes. The Tourism Authority of Thailand says that, in conjunction with the Tourism and Sports Ministry, it has filed a police report against more than 500 hotels and other businesses.

The discovery of the fraud cases had prompted officials to postpone the addition of another 1 million discounted hotel rooms, a decision that has already impacted bookings for the New Year period. However, Nation Thailand reports that, according to a source close to the “We Travel Together” (Khon La Khrueng) scheme, the plan may end up dropped altogether. The issuing of additional 600 baht and 900 baht food and travel vouchers has also been postponed.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is said to be furious over the reports of corruption, ordering the authorities to punish those involved, and calling on the public to cooperate in bringing them to justice.

“Solving the problem of corruption is not just the responsibility of the state. All parties must cooperate – givers, receivers and service providers. They must help each other by providing information so that we can arrest these fraudsters.”

The PM says the travel stimulus scheme was introduced to help struggling hotels and other businesses in the tourism sector. He says finding the budget for such campaigns was a challenge, without having to see the schemes end in corruption.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, December 18, 2020 at 11:17 am

    How can “postponing the addition of another 1 million discounted hotel rooms” have “already impacted bookings for the New Year period” when there are still 3 million spare?????

    • Avatar

      Richard

      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 6:31 pm

      Corruption is within your own office Uncle Tu

  2. Avatar

    Paulnou

    Friday, December 18, 2020 at 11:24 am

    there were a budget to subsidize that way the ailing hospitality sector and keep tousands of biz running + teach many Thai how to enjoy their own country, so… budget has been used, the target achieved though a lot lower funds used than any other much less affected tourism countries ….is that an excuse to let down thousands of fair htls and good tourists and keep the money to save what ? Just for may be 3% of wrong doings within the targets achieved ? the complicated system is the cause, the idea wagreat, then change the system but help the sector to survive and employees to keep jobs

  3. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Friday, December 18, 2020 at 11:51 am

    You cancel the next round, that will punish those crooks. Oh wait, you say they already stole the money? So who is actually being punished then? Oh the people are you supposed to be helping instead. Well I guess that makes sense somewhere.

  4. Avatar

    harry1

    Friday, December 18, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    in theory it was a good idea,but are we surprised at the fraudulent that exist in any scheme ? what will happen next to help local economy is the 64000 dollar question

  5. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Friday, December 18, 2020 at 1:02 pm

    “PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is said to be furious over the reports of corruption..”

    As leaders show, others will follow.

  6. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, December 18, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    Look at this. A PM who attained power through fraud is furious at this fraud.
    They should have known it would happen. It was like leaving child one with a a plate of sweets on the table and saying don’t touch the sweets.
    And the fraud will not stop. The police will be bribed not to prosecute.
    The judges will be bribed to be lenient or find not guilty.
    This is Amazing Thailand.
    By the way there is no need to discount a Thailand hotel room at the moment. The lack of guests will compel the hotel to discount.

  7. Avatar

    Wayno

    Friday, December 18, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    How dare the peasants steal from the thieves in power

  8. Avatar

    not surprised

    Friday, December 18, 2020 at 8:01 pm

    The level of corruption in Thailand today only reflects the extent from the bottom to the top of the pile. Why is he so mad did they not give him his share.
    The whole world knows that corruption is rife in the country but no one seems to go to prison for it they just seem to be moved to other positions or other areas to do it again.

    They need to clean up their act and start getting rid of the corrupt if Thailand wants to survive.

  9. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, December 18, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    Robin Hood stealing from the sheriff of Nottingham.

  10. Avatar

    Nipral

    Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 3:28 am

    Fraud…corruption ? In Thailand ? Under a military government ? Impossible !!!?????
    (or is it that some members of the gang didn’t get their cut ?)

  11. Avatar

    James Pate

    Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 5:43 am

    Yes, it was a good idea. Unfortunately, the process had too many steps, with each step an opportunity for corruption. A simple income tax deduction for domestic tourism, which has been done in the past, would have probably worked better.

  12. Avatar

    Larry

    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    Fighting corruption is not alone the problem of the government, but if the government would set a good example for others to follow would be a good start!

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Thailand

1.5 million Thais approaching poverty line

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1.5 million Thais approaching poverty line | The Thaiger

A new report by the World Bank has indicated that 1.5 million Thais are approaching the poverty line after Covid-19 ravaged the tourism-dependent economy. In 2020, the report says the poverty ratio in Thailand increased to 8.8%, compared with 2019’s figure of 6.2%.

The report is troubling as the Thai economy already passed rock bottom in the 2nd quarter of 2020, with the the 2nd wave of Covid hitting just before the year end. Now, as many provinces have essentially went into lockdown from domestic and foreign tourism, workers are out of jobs, whereas before, domestic tourism was serving as a way to help businesses survive.

The government stimulated the economy by spending the equivalent of 13% of the gross domestic product, but the World Bank is predicting it may take 2 more years for Thailand to return its economic situation to its pre-Covid state. But the news is not all bad as the World Bank expects the Thai GDP to grow by 4% this year, instead of declining by 6.5% last year.

Such reasoning is due to the expectations of the Covid-19 vaccine being rolled out, and global economic growth. But if the Covid-19 situation becomes more severe, the expected economic growth would decline to 2.4%. Political instability in Thailand is another risk factor as months of protests have shaken views on Thailand’s government, which has invoked the lese majeste defamation law on protesters who were criticising the Royal family. Human rights organisations have issued statements that condemned the government as it began charging minors with the law.

Today, Thailand reports 309 new cases of Covid-19, with 80 being locally transmitted. Most of the cases were due to active testing and 12 were from those already in quarantine. Thailand is expected to receive 50,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccinesby the first week of February. The shipment is part of the first lot of 26 million doses on the agreed purchase in October of last year.

SOURCE: TNA

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Thailand

Thai senior and disabled citizens will receive 2,000 baht handouts

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Thai senior and disabled citizens will receive 2,000 baht handouts | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Post Today

While the government’s economic stimulus packages continue to roll out, there is also a concern for the disabled and senior citizens who are excluded from the criteria to get benefits from the government’s major aids at this stage. The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security plans to distribute 2,000 baht handouts to that demographic of the Thai population.

According to the MSDHS Permanent Secretary, the ministry has allocated the budget to help those underprivileged groups who are excluded from the main national relief measures. However, at the initial stage, the handouts will be distributed on a case-by-case basis with the help of reports from the community development volunteers about the actual situation of each affected household.

SOURCE: NNT

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Thailand

210 billion baht stimulus confirmed for “Rao Chana”

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210 billion baht stimulus confirmed for “Rao Chana” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath Online

A budget of 210 billion baht of stimulus handouts to help financially-affected people from the Covid-19 outbreak, has been confirmed and ready to be distributed to 31 million people. Each applicant in the project will get 7,000 over 2 months, but not in cash. They will only get money transferred via the “Pao Tang” app once subscribing to the website “เราชนะ.com”, an app ‘e-wallet’.

Registration is scheduled for January 29 to February 12. Applicants will be screened for their annual income and how much they have in their bank accounts. Those with an annual income exceeding 300,000 baht and with savings of more than 500,000 baht as of December 31 last year will not qualify, according to Deputy PM Supattanapong Punmeechaow. People under the social security scheme, government officials, and state enterprise employees are not eligible for this campaign. Neither are foreigners.

The subsidy covers people’s food, drink, and essential items. They can also pay for public transport service providers who register in the project including motorcycle taxis, taxis, and passenger vans. The amount of money can be topped up each week if not spent, and there is no limit of how much to spend per day.

However, comments and responses are raised among the netizens who say “they prefer cash”. Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith says, “Financial relief is not being given in a form of cash. The money will be disbursed in phases to stimulate steady spending on essential goods. We want to inject cash into small businesses like the co-payment scheme.”

Also, questions have been raised for some people who can’t afford smartphones to get access to the app. Replying to this concern, he said… “The government will see what it can do to help them buy cheap phones”.

According to the Finance Minister, the government has approved several campaigns to help relieve people’s cost of living, including the “Let’s Go Halves” co-payment scheme that starts today as well as discounts on household electricity and water.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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