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Government opening up another round of welfare registration to include more recipients

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Government opening up another round of welfare registration to include more recipients | Thaiger

The Thai government is opening up another round of welfare card registration, with the possibility of more people being eligible for financial help. The Finance Ministry says it expects the latest round of recipients will outnumber the previous round, due to increasing unemployment rates.

An unnamed source told Bangkok Post that the inclusion of more recipients is due to the number of people who were unemployed after the pandemic and were left out of state welfare benefits in the last round. Eligible recipients must not make more than 100,000 baht annually, with the handout only being eligible to Thai people. Currently there are 13.7 million welfare card holders registered with the number expected to go up.

Cardholders are entitled to 200-300 baht a month to buy items at Thong Fah shops, as well as a 500 baht monthly subsidy for public buses, intra-provincial buses and electric trains. Recipients can also get a discount of 45 baht for cooking gas every 3 months.

The unnamed source reportedly told the Bangkok Post that the ministry has altered the eligibility criteria to be based on families and not individuals. The shift in criteria is allegedly to target low-income earners. But those with assets more than 100,000 baht may be excluded from qualifying for the handout. Those who own townhouses and land may also be left out if they measure over a certain area.

The source told Bangkok Post that the new round of registration will require potential recipients to verify their identities at registration points which were initially set up at state banks and state units under the Interior Ministry.

The screening process after registering may also take longer this time around as several state agencies need to conduct screenings due to the rules surrounding eligibility. The expected time to register and be screened is also expected to take longer than the state co-payment scheme or the Rao Chana (We Win) financial relief scheme. Another possible delay is due to the cards needing to be remodeled to allow usage at certain retail shops and to withdraw cash.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Ian

    Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    200 -300 baht a month 500 Baht for transport 45 baht for cooking gas every 3 months omg this is help
    This dictator evil government needs to really really help not throw scraps disgusting

  2. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 9:58 pm

    They throw scraps to look good.
    Thais if they have any sense at all should see this.

  3. Avatar

    S2K

    Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 10:07 pm

    Exactly! My girlfriend had to close her food shop, because of less customers and rising prices at the market. Even without work, she laughs at the crumbs that the government is offering.

  4. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    The 500 baht for transport is often a bit of window dressing for many card holders, Ian – who can use it?

    Out in the sticks it’s not usable, and in Bangkok many public buses are free.

  5. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    The rumour on social media is that the revised eligibility criteria will also apply to existing thong fah cardholders, who will have to re-apply.

    Only rumours and social media, but if correct the revision could be a double edged sword – very much “wait and see”.

  6. Avatar

    Ian

    Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 3:14 am

    Sounds to me ij the with what you say that many may not get it then just more bullshit from this government

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

Economy

Officials not worried Thailand remains on US currency watch list

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Officials not worried Thailand remains on US currency watch list | Thaiger
PHOTO: Thailand is on the watch list for possible currency manipulation.

Thailand remains on the United States Treasury’s “Monitoring List” of countries whose currency trade practices need to be watched, though Thai officials say they are not worried. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen releases a foreign exchange report twice a year including labelling alleged currency manipulators and flagging suspect trading partner countries to be monitored. The Bank of Thailand said remaining on the US currency watch list poses no threat to Thai businesses or the government’s ability to enact policies to promote financial stability. They stress that Thailand has never manipulated currency, using the exchange rate to get a competitive edge or an unfair trade advantage over other countries.

This most recent report tags 11 countries as warranting a closer watch: China, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand. Mexico and Ireland were the 2 new inclusions, not on the previous report in December 2020. Also in the report, the US Treasury Department toed the line of accusing Switzerland, Taiwan, and Vietnam of manipulating currency. They stated yesterday that the 3 countries had crossed the line of 2015 US trade laws, but didn’t officially brand them as currency manipulators. The thresholds of that 2015 rule include either global current account surplus or foreign currency intervention over 2% of GDP, and having a trade surplus with the US over US $20 billion trade.

The flagging of Taiwan, Vientman and Switzerland falls short of applying the manipulator label due to a 1988 law requiring evidence of manipulation to stop balance of payment adjustments or to gain a trade advantage. The US is already engaged in talks with Vietnam and Switzerland and will enter into “enhanced engagement” with Taiwan as well. Not being upgraded to the manipulator title relieves pressure from Switzerland and Vietnam, who both received the label in the last report issued by the Trump administration.

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance and Live Mint

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Thailand

Covid-19 brings surge in gold and cryptocurrency investment

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Covid-19 brings surge in gold and cryptocurrency investment | Thaiger
PHOTO: Gold and cryptocurrency are booming in pandemic times

In the uncertain times of the Covid-19 pandemic, investors are leaning towards safe investments like gold and also the emerging cryptocurrency market. Gold prices hit a 7 week high at over 55,000 baht on Thursday and around April 15 online gold transactions in Thailand doubled. One reason for the rise in gold price is uncertainty, with tensions growing between the US and Russia. Speculators believe gold may reach up to US $1800 during 2021 due mostly to more international tension between the US and China, and the US bond yields on the decline.

Online trading has seen a huge increase, as investors are closely monitoring gold prices, perhaps because they’re stuck at home and on the internet much more during the Covid-19 pandemic. New online accounts are growing as is the trading volume for online gold purchases.

Meanwhile, cryptocurrency has surged in investors and trading to an all-time high, again partially due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bitcoin reached a record price of over 2 million baht per coin this week. And many altcoins are gaining in popularity. The online trading platforms and exchanges for most crypto were not restricted by Covid-19 so the industry is swelling. Coinbase, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States went public on the NASDAQ stock market on April 14th. Last year’s total revenue for the popular exchange was US $1.2 billion, but the public offering reported earnings of $1.8 billion in the first quarter of 2021 alone.

While gold and cryptocurrency has become a popular way to make money during the pandemic, not all cryptos are created equal and most fail. Watchers have seen a 1 to 2% success rate out of the over 9,000 altcoins that have been created in the crypto boom. Advisors suggest cautious trading and investing in only the top few hundred altcoins.

With online gold trading and cryptocurrency surging ahead, the contrast is stark to brick and mortar industries decimated by Covid-19. Retail, tourism, and traditional banking have all taken massive hits. Kasikorn Bank dropped nearly 3% in the stock market. Only global oil, petrochemical, and electronics success have helped to bolster the Stock Exchange Thailand Index, with PTT Exploration and Production stock climbing over 4%. Covid-19 related industries such as rubber glove suppliers are flourishing with investors speculating on further growth if the third wave continues to spread. Overall though, the stock market rose half a per cent with the announcement that there will not be a Covid-19 lockdown just yet.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Economy

China grows 18.3%, the only major economy to grow in 2020

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China grows 18.3%, the only major economy to grow in 2020 | Thaiger
PHOTO: China - the second largest economy, and only major economy to grow last year.

China’s economy set a record for growth in Q1, 2021, marking an 18.3% jump in year-on-year figures, the biggest quarterly growth in almost 30 years. China only started publishing growth statistics in 1992, and this drastic increase is the fastest growth recorded since then.

The figures, however impressive, are mainly due to what is called a “low base effect” where the change from a low starting point translates into big percentage statistics. Because of the devastating economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Q1 2020 figures were dismal, allowing the big gain over the last year.

Quarter to quarter, the last 3 months saw only a 0.6% growth, but in the last quarter of 2020 China recorded an economic boom of 6.5% according to the Chinese government. Still, the figures are admirable, as China was the only major economy in the world to achieve growth in 2020. Most of the planet struggled to contain global Covid-19 outbreaks, crippling economies across the globe. But China, now the second-largest economy in the world, managed a 2.3% overall expansion. Even Chinese officials called the impressive statistics “better than we had expected.”

China has been growing in terms of imports and exports as well, with exports expanding nearly 31% and imports up 38% by price over last years.

SOURCE: CNN

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