Welfare card for poor distribution delayed

An example of the e-welfare benefit cards being issued to 11.67 million registered poor people throughout the country. The cards issued to the 1.3 million low-income people who use the Bangkok public transport system have two chips.(Supplied/Post Today)

The distribution of e-welfare cards for registered poor people in seven provinces, including Bangkok, for use on public transport has been postponed until Oct 17 due to technical limitations on card production.

The government earlier announced to distribute the hybrid 2-chip/Mangmoom cards for use on the common ticketing system for public transport in the Bangkok area on Oct 1.

However, the production process requires manually storing individual information in the chip of each card before testing with the e-ticket system of the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority, Suttirat Rattanachot, director-general of the Comptroller-General’s Department, said on Wednesday.

This process took quite a long time, so the cards would not ready for use on Oct 1.

Around 1.3 million registered low-income earners are affected. They have registered in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Ayutthaya, Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom and Samut Sakhon.

Ms Suttirat said some cards have been produced and delivered to the distribution outlets, but the actual handing out of the cards will begin on Oct 17.

However, the department will allow the unused subsidy paid for October to be carried over to November on this occasion.

Card-holders will get a monthly allowance of 1,500 baht, with 500 baht each for bus, train and van fares. The fares cannot be used interchangeably and the unused amount will not be carried over.

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