The popular Khon La Khrueng (Half-Half) scheme will be re-launched sooner than planned although the subsidy for subscribers will be trimmed, the government announced.
The cabinet yesterday approved Phase 4 of the Khon La Khrueng scheme which is set to begin on 1st February, rather than 21st February as originally planned. It was brought forward on the back of rising prices for key consumer items, including pork and eggs. Phase 3 of the Khon La Khrueng scheme drew to a close at the end of last year.
Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said yesterday that Phase 4 of the scheme will involve a budget of 34.8 billion baht to be drawn from the COVID-19 relief loan.
It will run from 1st February to the end of April and will see the government provide 50% subsidies on food, drink and general goods purchased at participating food shops and stalls. The subsidy is capped at 150 baht per person per day.
However, the total spending limit for each person is capped at 1,200 baht over the course of the scheme, rather than the 1,500 baht for Phase 3.
Mr Wangboonkongchana said the 28 million present subscribers to the scheme can start using the subsidies from 1st February.
The next round, however, has room for one million more subscribers. They can apply to register from 10th February and if approved, they will be able to begin using the service from 17th February.
Mr Wangboonkongchana also said welfare cardholders and people with special needs will also receive government subsidies faster than planned. The cabinet has given the green light to a budget worth eight billion baht for Phase 4 of the state welfare cardholders programme and 1.3 billion baht for Phase 2 of the people with special needs scheme.
Previously, subsidies under the two programmes were also to be rolled out on Feb 21. Now, they too will run from 1st February to the end of April. In total, 13.4 million cardholders and 2.2 million people with special needs will receive subsidies worth up to 200 baht per month for three months.
Meanwhile, deputy government spokeswoman, Traisuree Taisaranakul, said the cabinet has also approved Phase 4 of the Rao Tiew Duay Kan (We Travel Together) co-payment scheme worth nine billion baht to stimulate domestic tourism.
The subsidy, which runs from next month through to July, is capped at 3,000 baht per night for up to 10 consecutive nights.