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BANGKOK 23 May 2019 10:02
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Free Internet and other pre-election goodies roll out for Christmas

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Free Internet and other pre-election goodies roll out for Christmas

By The Nation

 

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IN A BID to garner popularity ahead of the election scheduled for February, the government has finalised plans to give more than 11 million low-income people free Internet SIM cards and other state subsidies that will together cost taxpayers billions of baht.

 

The Finance Ministry has proposed that the National Broadcasting and Telecommuni-cations Commission (NBTC) offer Internet access free of charge to underprivileged people who hold state welfare cards.

 

Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said it would benefit farmers, for example, who could access market crop prices and other useful data in real time.

 

He said farmers would be able to follow price trends on low-cost smartphones so they could make more informed decisions on what and when to plant, avoiding issues like oversupply. The NBTC would work out the details, Apisak said, and low-income people other than farmers would also benefit from online access to improve their individual economic well-being.

 

They could, for example, track job opportunities or seek training to develop new skills, thus getting the chance to upgrade their employment situation.

 

Apisak said the free Internet scheme was not intended for entertainment or gaming and should be first tested for six months pending Cabinet approval.

 

State-owned TOT Plc would be responsible for providing the service to registered low-income people around the country, he said.

 

Pocket money for New Year

 

Meanwhile, Suthirat Rattanachote, chief of the Comptroller-General’s Department, said the government would also start adding money to welfare cards later this month to help them buy necessities for the year-end.

 

More than 11 million people on annual income under Bt100,000 – less than Bt8,300 per month – have registered for and received welfare cards, qualifying for state subsidies including limited amounts of electricity and tap water. 

 

Suthirat said the money would be transferred to welfare cardholders from December through September 2019. They will have to pay their electricity and water bills initially but would be reimbursed on a monthly basis. In addition, the government will transfer Bt500 to each cardholder from December 8-10 as part of the welfare plan to boost purchasing power.

 

An unspecified number of disabled citizens and people over 60 will receive the same amount in January and February.

 

Other measures include a Bt1,000 subsidy for people aged 65 and older to cover their expenses commuting to healthcare facilities, and another Bt400 for monthly rent.

 

The raft of benefits will cost billions of baht in tax money as the government gears up its state welfare campaign ahead of the general election.

 

The 11 million-plus citizens registered for welfare and listed in a government database so the Finance Ministry can transfer money directly to their PromptPay bank accounts, bypassing intermediaries.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30359723

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-12-03

 

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And.....'we'll be able to identify the great unwashed much easier'.

 

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Can any one say Obama phone...

The Obama phone lady...

 

 

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

finalised plans to give more than 11 million low-income people free Internet SIM cards and other state subsidies that will together cost taxpayers billions of baht.

giving away other people's money, our money, for their own gain

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I see this as a good thing. I don't see it as a populist policy as we have seen the abuse of before in the past. It's not an election pledge (i.e vote for me and I will give you twice the price for your rice).

 

And another thing, none of the text in the article is in quotes even though it implies a quote. Which would make it a selective opinion. More poor journalism (although the "other" rag is much worse for this kind of thing).

I am not pro junta, just anti misleading press conglomerates.

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2 hours ago, fforest1 said:

Can any one say Obama phone...

The Obama phone lady...

 

 

easy to  see why  some  people shouldnt be  allowed to vote😮

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3 hours ago, Samui Bodoh said:

"...The raft of benefits will cost billions of baht in tax money as the government gears up its state welfare campaign ahead of the general election..."

 

After the election, new criteria will be established to cut the "loses" to the program in the name of "good government".

 

The poor will go back to being poor and unassisted.

 

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...

 

 

For all those who find this garnering favour, well, it worked for Thaksin United, didn't it?

It is called populist politics.

Widely used in the western world also, mostly for the big corporations, big shareholders and so on.

 

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