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Industry body says Thai government must borrow another 1 trillion baht



PHOTO: Flickr/Peter Hellberg

The chairman of The Federation of Thai Industries is calling on the government to borrow another 1 trillion baht to kick-start the economy in 2022. Supant Mongkolsuthree says the extra funds are desperately needed to boost an economy devastated by the fallout from the pandemic. According to a Bangkok Post report, he says the government’s borrowing of 500 billion baht earlier this year is not sufficient.

“The 1-trillion-baht loan decree is needed to boost the economy in 2022. Thailand should follow other countries to borrow more money to effectively restore the economy.”

The call echoes that made by the Bank of Thailand last month, when it said the government would need another 1 trillion baht to restore the decimated economy and improve long-term growth prospects. In 2020, the government used powers afforded by the emergency decree to borrow 1 trillion baht, which was used for various stimulus measures, followed by another 500-million-baht loan earlier this year.

The Bangkok Post reports that Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith insists there is no need to borrow any more, but Supant disagrees, saying the money is urgently needed to help small to medium-sized businesses which have suffered heavily under Covid-19 lockdowns.

“SME businesses are the backbone of our economy. Most SMEs were seriously affected by the pandemic. They really need help from the government.”

Meanwhile, the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking is proposing that SME soft loan scheme guarantees be increased from a ratio of 40% to 70% of the total credit line, a proposal backed by Supant, who adds that the ratio should be 100% for businesses that have been badly affected by lockdowns.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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