Thu, January 20, 2022

in-focus

Prayut worries over rising household debts in Covid fallout


In a bid to help families overburdened with debts incurred in the fallout of Covid-19, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has called on related agencies to come up with solutions.

“The PM also hopes that lawmakers will approve a new draft on student loans as it will ease the burden on more than 5 million students and guarantors,” government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Tuesday.

He said a committee chaired by Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow is working to solve eight types of debts with the following measures:

• Student loans: Extending repayment period, allowing students to start repaying when they have a job and reducing the interest rate on defaulted payment to 2 per cent.

• Debt restructuring: Making it part of the national agenda, getting specialised institutions to restructure debts so debtors do not need to worry about legal procedures.

• Vehicle loans: Fixing the cost of debt collection

• Civil servant loans: Easing the burden on civil servants, especially teachers and police officers, by cutting the interest rate to no more than 5 per cent, reducing life insurance premiums and guaranteeing fees.

• Ceiling rate and fees: Reconsidering rates as well as launching protection measures.

• Credit card and personal loans: Setting up a debt clinic to tackle the problem.

• Soft loans: Making it easier for individual, small and medium enterprises to take soft loans.

• Judicial process: Setting up a Thai Business Mediation Centre to address business and finance-related disputes.

Thanakorn also quoted Prayut as saying that the household debt trap needs to be tackled as soon as possible because it affects the economy and society.

“The premier believes people can be free of debt if they have the intention, discipline and plans for repaying their debts,” he added.

Published : January 04, 2022

By : THE NATION