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Olivier Languepin

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So far, 28.8 million people have already applied for the 5,000 baht/month cash subsidies, under the “Rao Mai Thing Kan” (We Do Not Leave You Behind) scheme.

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But only 13.4 million have passed the qualification screening, leaving thousands queuing in lengthy lines as they wait to file complaints.

Of those eligible, 11 million have had the subsidy wired into their bank accounts already, with the remaining 2.4 million to receive their first payment next week, according to Mr. Lawan Saengsanit, spokesman for the Finance Ministry.

In 2018, there were about 21.2 million informal and 17.1 million formal workers. Besides agriculture, with a 92% informality rate, jobs in commerce have the second highest rate of informality at 60%, according to the World Bank.

Cash subsidy to 10 million registered farmers

Starting today, another government’s financial aid of 5,000 baht per farm household for three months, will be distributed through the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC).

Eligible recipients include farmers who have registered with the Department of Agricultural Extension, the Department of Fisheries and the Department of Livestock Development, and newly registered farmers.

However, they must not be associated with the government’s 5,000-baht cash handout for workers affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

​In March 2020, the Thai economy contracted at a higher rate than the previous month, said last week the Bank of Thailand in a press release.

The COVID-19 outbreak affected economic activities more severely in all aspects, said the Bank of Thailand. In particular, the tourism sector severely contracted because of international travel restriction measures in many countries including Thailand.

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Economics

Thai fruit exports to FTA markets up 107 percent

China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia and Chile are top importers of Thai fruits, especially fresh durian, mangosteen, longan and mango. Thai exporters are able to benefit from FTA privileges.

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand’s fruit exports continue to increase, despite the sluggish global economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with key trade partners being countries that have free trade agreements (FTAs) with the kingdom.

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Economics

The Future of Asia: greener but with a public and private debt hangover

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a perfect storm, destroying jobs, worsening poverty and inequality, and creating a public and private debt problem—especially for countries and firms already in fragile financial health beforehand

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The Sydney Opera resumed live performances and the city of Melbourne recently hosted the Australian Open tennis tournament with fans (mostly) in attendance.

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Economics

50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The government’s 50:50 co-pay campaign expiring on 31st March may not be getting an immediate campaign extension. The Minister of Finance says campaign evaluation is needed to improve future campaigns.

The Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith today announced the government may not be able to reach a conclusion on the extension of the 50:50 co-pay campaign in time for the current 31st March campaign end date, as evaluations are needed to better improve the campaign.

Originally introduced last year, the 50:50 campaign is a financial aid campaign for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the government subsidizes up to half the price of purchases at participating stores, with a daily cap on the subsidy amount of 150 baht, and a 3,500 baht per person subsidy limit over the entire campaign.

The campaign has already been extended once, with the current end date set for 31st March.

The Finance Minister said that payout campaigns for the general public are still valid in this period, allowing time for the 50:50 campaign to be assessed, and to address reports of fraud at some participating stores.

The Fiscal Police Office Director General and the Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Kulaya Tantitemit, said today that a bigger quota could be offered in Phase 3 of the 50:50 campaign beyond the 15 million people enrolled in the first two phases, while existing participants will need to confirm their identity if they want to participate in Phase 3, without the need to fill out the registration form.

Mrs Kulaya said the campaign will still be funded by emergency loan credit allocated for pandemic compensation, which still has about 200 billion baht available as of today.

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