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Thailand extends the 7,000 baht “Rao Chana” scheme to 33.5 million Thais

The Ministry of Finance said that the new proposal will increase the number of people eligible for the “Rao Chana” relief package to 33.5 million while raising the budget to 3 billion baht.

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The Ministry of Finance, said today that the new proposal will increase the number of people eligible for the “Rao Chana” relief package to 33.5 million while raising the budget to 3 billion baht.

Under the scheme, each of the 33.5 million recipients will have 7,000 baht wired into their “Pao Tang” accounts in seven weekly instalments of 1,000 baht. The deadline extension until the end of June will also help to mitigate the impact of the new COVID-19 outbreak.

The Rao Chana scheme provides 7,000 baht in subsidies to each person registered as being affected by the COVID-19 situation.

The Ministry of Finance has clarified that the Rao Chana scheme is not accepting new applicants at this time, and the additional 3- billion-baht budget approved by the Cabinet is for funding the program which has been extended for another month.

The cabinet approved to extend the deadline for people to use the cash payments by one more month, from May 31 to June 30, and increase the number of recipients to 2.4 million.

So far, there are 32.8 million Rao Chana participants, 13.7 million of whom are state welfare cardholders, 16.8 million are new registrants and people whose information is already in the database of the Pao Tang application, and 2.3 million are people who need special assistance or those registering without smartphones.

The scheme has led to more than 200 billion baht being circulated in the economy, encompassing 1.3 million registered retail outlets.

However, the government has warned people not to misuse the financial aid, such as swapping the subsidy for cash or unfairly raising product prices.

The Ministry of Finance has coordinated with the Ministry of Commerce, the Royal Thai Police and relevant agencies to monitor and inspect related activities. If shop owners and welfare recipients are found to have violated the conditions, their privileges will be revoked and they may face legal action. The government asks them to cooperate by following the scheme’s conditions.

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Economics

Thailand’s Ministry of Finance expects 3.5 to 4.5% economic growth in 2022

For next year, the Ministry of Finance is projecting an economic growth of 3.5-4.5% from effective pandemic control measures, incentives, domestic spending, the export sector, private investment support, global economic recovery, and government expenditures.

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The Minister of Finance says Thailand’s economy this year would see only a 1.1-1.2% growth

BANGKOK (NNT) – The Ministry of Finance is now projecting an economic rebound to 4.5% growth next year, with government investments serving as key drivers. The Minister of Finance says the government will focus more on inclusive growth next year, with no sectors left behind.

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Ecommerce

Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President, The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)

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Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President, The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)

What measures has SET taken to support listed companies’ compliance with ESG standards?
PAKORN PEETATHAWATCHAI:

PAKORN: When we first began promoting ESG-compliant investments, we were met with little interest. We attributed this to a lack of clear data to showcase the economic benefits of ESG investment, and perhaps limited clarity as to what constitutes a sustainable or ESG-compliant investment. The launch of the THSI list and, subsequently, the SETTHSI Index, was designed to address this. Our most recent data, comparing returns for the SETTHSI Index with the broader SET and SET100 indices from April 2020 to April 2021, underscores the economic benefits of these investments: the group compliant with ESG standards outperformed the other two indices on every data point. 

As of May 2021 Thailand was home to CG and ESG assets under management totalling BT54.8bn ($1.7bn) across 50 funds – up from 23 funds in 2019. Meanwhile, of the BT187.1bn ($5.9bn) raised in green, social and sustainability bonds since 2018, BT136.4bn ($4.3bn) was raised in 2020 – 83% from the government and the remainder from development banks and private players. This rising demand, in a move to manage risk and generate returns, has been complemented by growing supply and promotion: supply from ESG-compliant businesses aiming for resiliency and sustainable growth, as well as promotion from regulators highlighting investment opportunities with good CG and SD practices. Indeed, the pandemic has been a catalyst in shifting the view of ESG compliance from a luxury to a requirement in the new normal.

In what ways can enhanced standard-setting and regulatory mechanisms overcome the remaining barriers to improved ESG performance?

PAKORN: A multi-stakeholder approach is crucial for enhanced ESG performance – not only in Thailand, but around much of the globe. This can also help to address the standout incumbent challenge: access to reliable, wide-ranging ESG data. For example, the 2020 update to the 56-1 One Report established clear ESG standards and triggered online and offline capacity-building programmes to support listed firms’ compliance. SET is developing an ESG data platform with a structured template to promote the availability of comparable data, maximise value added from corporate sustainability disclosures, and foster collaboration between the business value chain and stakeholders. This is expected to support Thai companies along their ESG journey in an economically sustainable way, result in a greater number of sustainability-focused products and services, drive sustainable investing in the Thai investment community and ultimately “make the capital market work for everyone”, as outlined in the SET’s vision.
 

 

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