DES chief seeks nod for B100 mobile aid

News Highlights: DES chief seeks nod for B100 mobile aid.

DES chief is looking for nod for B100 mobile help

Social assistance scheme for two months

Minister of Digital Economy and Society (DES) Buddhipongse Punnakanta says he will seek government approval for 100 baht monthly assistance for two months for mobile subscribers of both prepaid and postpaid systems.

The emergency room could help 5 million mobile users who can sign up for the program through a registration platform, according to his initiative.

After successful registration, postpaid users are eligible for a monthly discount of 100 baht offered by operators for two months. Prepaid subscribers also receive a monthly credit of 100 baht for two months.

About 2 billion baht is expected to be used to fund the scheme, intended to help those struggling during the pandemic.

Mr Buddhipongse told the Bangkok Post that he will propose the scheme for approval at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Representatives from the three major mobile operators, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and Mr. Buddhipongse recently discussed assistance at the NBTC office.

No conclusion has been drawn on the responsibility for setting up the registration platform or funding the package, he said, although it is highly likely that funding will come directly from the government budget.

Mr. Buddhipongse said the DES ministry cannot use money from its Digital Fund because the aid is not in line with the fund’s objective of promoting digital transformation and development through projects and activities.

He said funding also cannot be made from money raised through 5G spectrum license auctions held by NBTC last February, as that amount must be passed on to the Treasury Department.

This method would also be impractical because it would require budgetary procedures that would have to be considered by the House of Representatives, said Mr. Buddhipongse.

Winners of the auction’s 700 megahertz licenses are required to pay the first installment of license fees next month. Auction winners of the 2600 MHz spectrum licenses will have to pay the full license fee next month.

Advanced Info Service and True Move H Universal Communication, which secured the 2600 MHz spectrum licenses, paid for the first disk of the licenses last year.

A manager of a major mobile operator who asked for anonymity said mobile operators have rejected the development of a centralized assistance registration platform.

“It is very likely that the NBTC office would be responsible for the development of the registration platform, which could take about 1-2 weeks to implement,” said the director. After registration by users, operators would only filter their customers and confirm the registration via SMS, the source said.

Via: www.bangkokpost.com

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