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Second round registration of low-income earners opens today

Second round of registration of low-income earners opened today with large number of people flocking to offices of three state banks and finance offices of 76 provinces and of Bangkok's 50 district offices to get state welfare or other benefits free or at lower costs.

The registration of the poor today is more stringent as more criteria were laid down to prevent the richer to register. The registration will last until May 15.

The three state banks are Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, Government Savings Bank, and Krung Thai Bank.

According to The Nation, people eligible for rights to state welfare must be Thai citizens, 18 years old or older, and unemployed or have earned less than 100,000 baht in 2016.

They must not own any assets worth more than 100,000 baht or own a house on land larger than 25 square wa (100 square metres), a condominium larger than 35 square metres or land larger than one rai.

For farmers, their farmland must not exceed 20 rai, and for non-farming purpose, the land must not exceed one rai.

Earlier the Finance Ministry's Fiscal Policy Office forecast as many as 15 million people are expected to register as low-income earners to obtain assistance in the second round of registration.

The increase, almost doubling of first round registration last year of eight million, was anticipated as people failed to register in the first round because they lacked awareness about the potential benefits.

Eligible people will receive an electronic cards that will enable them to access to state welfares which includes waivers or discounts for water and electricity utilities charges, transport fees.

People living in the capital and the provinces will receive different benefit based on scheme.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)