Government’s 400 billion baht in soft loans may save 6 million Thai jobs – NESDB

Passengers wait for their train at a commuter train station at rush hour in Bangkok on May 25, 2020, as Thais continued their return to work following the lifting of restrictions to halt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Only about a quarter of the 8.4 million Thai workers at risk of losing their jobs, due to COVID-19 related closures, are now expected to be made redundant, thanks to the Government’s 400 billion baht fund, to be used to boost the economy and help small and medium size enterprises, according to the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB).

In its Q1 assessment for this year, the NESDB said the jobs of about 8.4 million workers, especially those related to tourism, are at risk, after COVID-19 wreaked havoc on so many Thai businesses.

Household debt for the fourth quarter of 2019 amounted to 13 trillion baht, but figures for Q1 of this year show a 5% increase, because of the weakening of all types of credit.  The ratio of household debt to GDP is 79.8%, which is the highest for three and a half years.

Non-performing loans, for Q1 of this year, amount to 156 billion baht, accounting for 3.25% of all loans and a 2.9% increase on the previous quarter.

The 400 billion baht soft loan scheme, part of the executive decrees currently being debated in Parliament, will be the tool used by the Government to save affected SMEs and boost the economy, according to the NESDB.

 

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