23 May 2024

Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak, told Parliament today of the need to borrow one trillion baht to cushion the economic impacts of COVID-19, because existing funding will dry up in July or August.

He explained that the money currently available will last just three months, and that it is necessary to secure new funding to meet the challenges thereafter.

He also said the bond stabilization fund, the subject of another executive decree, is needed to stabilize the bond market, because there are already some ominous signs emanating from the market as some funds have started to fold.

He cited the lessons of the “Tom Yum Kung” financial crisis in the late 1990s, saying that Thailand must take pro-active measures to prevent a repeat of the collapse of the financial markets.

He asked government critics to view the bond stabilization fund as an attempt by the Government to “piggy-back” on the rich and super rich.

Defending the soft loan decree, designed to help affected SMEs, the Deputy Prime Minister admitted that there are constraints within the banking system which make it impossible for some SMEs to access financial support and, hence, the need of the soft loan law.

“We want to turn this coronavirus crisis into an opportunity, said Dr. Somkid, as he stressed the need to strengthen the economic foundation of Thailand by assisting SMEs at a time of global economic slowdown and a trade war, which has dampened Thailand’s export prospect.”

He assured Parliament that all the funds, including the 400 billion baht for economic rehabilitation, will be used wisely and effectively.

“We must nurse our economy and all those affected until next year, when all of us are expected to survive the crisis,” he said.