MONDAY, April 15, 2024
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Thai PM launches national effort to tackle household debt crisis

Thai PM launches national effort to tackle household debt crisis

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Tuesday announced a comprehensive initiative that will address the problem of non-formal debts as a national priority.

The collaborative effort involves key ministries and state banks and aims to release Thais from the shackles of “debt slavery”.

To tackle rising household debt, the Finance Ministry, Government Savings Bank (GSB) and the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) will provide special loans. The government, meanwhile, will act as a mediator between debtors and creditors, ensuring fair and legal contracts. The focus is on adjusting debt structure and offering post-process measures to ease the burden on citizens.

Highlighting the severity of the matter, Srettha said people who have borrowed funds from loan sharks can never escape debts, which in turn affects every aspect of their lives. He said the aim of the initiative is to liberate them from debt slavery and give them a chance to pursue their dreams.

Krisada Chinavicharana, the Finance Ministry’s permanent secretary, outlined the mediation measures for debtors and creditors. He said that based on the initiative, GSB will extend loans of up to 50,000 baht for up to five years to each applicant and loans of up to 100,000 baht for eight years to people wanting to start a small business.

The BAAC will offer agricultural loans of up to 2.5 million baht per applicant to address farmland issues, he added.

The premier said that on December 12, the government will issue a comprehensive overview of both systemic and non-systemic debts. While this project is not a miracle solution to eradicate non-systemic debts entirely, it can be seen as a crucial step towards alleviating the burden of debt on citizens and fostering economic recovery.

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