InfoQuest (June 1, 2020) -- The Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) of the Ministry of Finance is preparing a proposal to set up a fund for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a total value of up to 50 billion baht to help those unable to obtain soft loans from the Bank of Thailand (BOT), which will be submitted to the cabinet for consideration in the near future, said Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana.
Only some SMEs can't apply for the 500-billion-baht soft loan from the central bank and the 150-billion-baht soft loan from the Government Savings Bank (GSB). Now that there's a problem, the government needs to hear and address it.
And solutions are being considered for the 1.7 million people who were not eligible to receive the 5,000-baht handouts under the program -- "We Will Not Abandon Each Other" because of incorrect registration.
Mr. Uttama said there will be no delay in the 400-billion-baht economic recovery funds in the 1 trillion baht loan decree, as relevant departments were now preparing projects in accordance with the framework laid down by the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB). Meanwhile, the plans will be submitted to the project review committee for consideration before being submitted to the cabinet for approval.
Mr. Uttama also said that informal debt must be regulated after the epidemic to avoid it becoming a major problem undermining the economic system. In terms of financial measures, the Ministry of Finance has set up a working group, and prepared credit through the mechanisms of the Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC), the GSB and the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME Bank).
As for non-financial measures, the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation will be responsible for providing local jobs to fresh graduates.
"The end of the epidemic does not mean that the economy can light up like a light bulb immediately," Mr. Uttama said. "we have to get ready, we have to have programs in place, and the recovery projects must focus on strengthening the local economy and covering all groups in the agricultural sector, the industrial sector and community businesses."
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