The new government has extended the Six for Six Plan, which includes water, electricity and public transportation subsidies, for six more months to help ease the economic burdens of middle and low-income earners in Thailand.
Last year, in the face of increasing oil and food price hikes, the government announced six measures to be carried out for six months to alleviate the financial hardships of Thai people.
On 9 January 2009, the Economics Cabinet approved the extension of the six measures for another six months starting 1 February 2009. However, the extended six measures will exclude the excise tax cuts for gasohol and diesel, which were considered unnecessary as prices have dropped with the decline of crude oil prices. Also, the free units of electricity usage will be reduced from 150 units to between 80-100 units.
The details of the new extended package are as follows:
- Cancelling the excise tax cuts on gasohol and diesel;
- Suspending price increase of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for household use;
- Offering up to 50 cubic metres per month of free water usage to households;
- Reducing electricity bill expenses for households using less than 80-100 units per month;
- Providing free fares for bus rides on 800 ordinary buses operated by the state run Bangkok Mass Transit Authority and on 73 routes within Bangkok and outlying areas; and
- Providing free fares on third class railway carriages on all routes nationwide, which will provide service to about 16 million people during the six months.
These measures will continue until 31 July 2009.
Apart from the extension of the above six measures, the new government also injected a fresh Baht 100 billion spending bill to finance job training programmes and community development projects. The new budget will also finance nine groups of people, including farmers, factory workers, small businesses, students, poor residents and other groups.
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