By THE NATION
“The Covid-19 crisis has dragged on for longer than we expected, therefore the government should extend aid measures to help business operators,” he said. “For example, the postponement of debt repayment that was originally set at six months from April to September, should be extended by at least two years, as many SMEs are still unable to resume their operations at full capacity. The inability to repay debts could result in business shutdowns and massive unemployment.”
“Furthermore, the government should increase and extend discounts or exemptions on utilities such as water, electricity, internet, as well as on fees when registering with authorities or using government services,” he added. “These measures will help increase SMEs’ liquidity, enabling them to get back on their feet faster.”
Supant also added that the government should allocate more budget to the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation (TCG), who will act as guarantor when SMEs apply for loans. “TCG needs at least Bt200 billion to help SMEs that still have no access to soft loans provided by financial institutions, while the guarantee period should be extended to at least five years in order to help SMEs retain their employees and create liquidity in the economy system.”
FTI estimates that of the Bt200-billion loan guarantee amount that TCG will provide, Bt50 billion will go to medium-sized businesses, while Bt150 billion will be required by small enterprises which are greater in number and is the group that has suffered the most from the Covid-19 crisis.