Social Development and Human Security Minister Gen Anantaporn Kanjanarat was speaking after chairing a meeting of a committee tasked with controlling beggars.
He said the meeting has designated Sing Buri, Prachin Buri, Lamphun, Phatthalung, Buri Ram and Sukhothai to be declared beggar-free this year.
The ministry has also written to inform the Royal Thai Police of guidelines for imposing fines on beggars under the 2016 Beggar Control Act. Violators are liable to a jail term of no more than one month, a fine of no more than B10,000, or both.
The fines will increase for repeat offenders, starting from B500 for the first offence to B2,000 and B5,000. From the fourth offence, the fine will be B10,000, Gen Anantaporn said.
He added that during the past year, efforts to curb the number of beggars had paid off in some provinces such as Nonthaburi's Pak Kret district. The southern province of Trang also has a career-training programme to help beggars to start a career and earn a more secure income.
Gen Anantaporn also said that currently more than 3,500 buskers performing in public places have registered with the ministry, though some have paid little attention to the importance of registration, leading to quarrels among them in some areas.
The Department of Social Development and Welfare has been instructed to regulate busking in public places to prevent problems, the minister said.
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