Thai government launches 300,000 baht loans for self-employed

Photo courtesy of Conscious Magazine

In a significant move to support the workforce, the Thai government has unveiled a loan programme aimed at self-employed individuals, providing funds up to 300,000 baht for those in need of financial assistance.

This initiative, which offers zero-interest loans for a two-year period, is available until April 30, as announced by Deputy Government spokesperson Karam Phonprakong.

The policy, orchestrated under the guidance of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, is a part of the government’s broader strategy to enhance the quality of life for workers and drive economic growth. It aligns with the Skilled Workers, Stable Jobs, and Prominent Social Security approach, which includes measures like aligning the minimum wage with the economic conditions.

The Ministry of Labour, through its Department of Employment, has prepared a fund specifically for home-based workers and freelancers. These funds are intended to help those who wish to work independently but lack the necessary capital to purchase tools and equipment.

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The eligibility criteria for accessing these loans are as follows: applicants must be registered home-based workers with the Department of Employment, individuals can borrow up to 50,000 baht, and groups can borrow up to 300,000 baht. The interest rate is set at 0% for the duration of 24 months, and the loan application period runs up to April 30. Repayment terms for individuals are within two years, while groups are given five years.

Labour statistics as of the end of January 2024 indicate that Thailand has a workforce of 39.13 million people out of a total population aged 15 and above of 58.18 million, putting the employment rate at 66.52%. The labour force is divided between 10.38 million in agriculture and 28.75 million in non-agricultural sectors.

The industries with the highest employment growth compared to December 2022 are mining and quarrying at 128.45%, electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply at 28.44%, and arts, entertainment, and recreation at 24.95%, reported KhaoSod.

The unemployment figures for January 2024 stand at approximately 432,000 people or an unemployment rate of 1.09%, which is considerably low compared to other countries like Japan at 2.37%, South Korea at 3.02%, and the United States at 3.66%. Notably, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ranked Thailand as having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world in 2024.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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