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Dates set for Covid relief aid for 9m Thais

The Ministry of Labour said employees of private firms can begin registering for their slice of a new 4,000-baht financial relief package from Feb 16.

Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin said he agreed with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha that the Covid-19 financial relief package should also be given to employees of private firms covered by Section 33 of the Social Security Act (SSA) and who do not hold a state welfare card.

Around 1,000 baht a week will be disbursed via the Pao Tang app to the 9.2 million Thai workers eligible for the package.

Although the proposal is unlikely to be approved by the cabinet on Tuesday, it would be tabled for approval the following week.

In the meantime, the registration website will be prepared for signups from Feb 16-28, before state verification the following week and self-verification the week after.

The financial relief will be transferred to their G-wallet account from March 15-April 5, and they must spend the money by the end of May.

He said the maximum 500,000-baht savings qualification would not include fund investments, bonds or Government Savings Bank lottery contributions. The scheme, called S33 Rao Rak Kan, will cost the government about 40 billion baht.

Meanwhile, about 9.3 million social security members — salaried employees in the private sector — will likely get 4,000 baht each in Covid-19 relief aid, according to Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin.

The Minister gave details of the proposal, called the “Section 33 We Love Each Other” project, on Saturday before it is tabled for cabinet approval on Feb 15.

Eligible members are Thai nationals who are members under Section 33. They must not be welfare cardholders.

The exception is those who had 500,000 baht or more in combined bank deposits as of the end of December 2019.

Qualified workers will get money transfers to their Paotung app at the rate of 1,000 baht per week for four weeks.

Registration opens at http://www.ม33เรารักกัน.com from Feb 21 to March 7. After that, banks will check their eligibility.

Qualified employees can verify their identities through the Paotung app during March 15-21.

The transfers are made on March 22 and 29, and April 5 and 12.

They can use the funds at shops under the Rao Chana project from March 22 to May 31.

There are 11 million employees under Section 33 as of January this year, according to the Social Security Fund Office. The ministry estimated 9 million are qualified, totalling around 37.1 billion baht.

Members covered by social security, totalling 16.4 million as of Feb 5, are categorised into three groups.

Those under Section 33 are those aged 15-60 who are still working and have employers. They number 11 million as of January.

The other two groups — Section 39 and 40 — do not have employers.

Members under Section 39 are former Section 33 employees who have made contributions for 12 months or more and then quit and still want to keep the coverage by continuing paying the contributions (432 baht a month). They total 1.8 million as of January.

Members under Section 40 are those aged 15-65 who work independently, freelancers or general vendors. They may choose to pay contribution rates of 70, 100 and 300 baht a month and get varied coverage based on their contribution rates. This group numbers 3.5 million.

Workers under Sections 39 and 40 get 7,000 baht in total (3,500 baht for two months) in February and March.

They get more aid than Section 33 employees because the cabinet views the latter group was already compensated for unemployment. – TNR and Bangkok Post



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