Bangkok Post

Handout could see 20m apply

- CHAIRITH YONPIAM

More than 17.2 million people have applied for the 5,000-baht financial aid granted by the government to ease the impact of the Covid-19, according to Fiscal Policy Office director Lavaron Saengsanit.

That was the figure which stood at 6pm yesterday as people registered on www.Á¦µÅ¤nšŠ·Ê „œ´ .com, the only official channel, which began accepting applicatio­ns at 6pm on Saturday, Mr Lavaron said.

The Thai web address means: “You will never be left behind.”

He added that registrati­ons had peaked at two million per hour at 10pm on Saturday, an unexpected volume considerin­g the total number of informal workers affected by the Covid19 is believed to be about 10 million.

It is likely that many people who are not eligible for the aid took a chance and registered anyway, Mr Lavaron said.

Including those ineligible registrati­ons, his team may have to process up to 20 million applicatio­ns, he said.

The government has rolled out a series of stimulus packages to ease the impact of Covid-19 on workers.

Among them is a 50-billionbah­t government fund that provides 5,000 baht per month for three months to three million virus-affected temporary employees and self-employed workers.

Previously, a broad range of financial and fiscal relief measures was issued to help companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprise­s, alleviate negative impacts from the Covid-19 crisis.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Thailand yesterday announced that banks will resume their services today after closing some branches at weekends to help prevent the spread of coronaviru­s ahead of the mass registrati­ons for aid.

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