Korn urges government to use ฿600bn loan balance to ease impact of COVID-19
Thailand’s former finance minister Korn Chatikavanij has urged the government to make quick use of all available resources, particularly the 600 billion baht residue of two loans, to ease the sufferings of people and businesses affected by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We must do everything, use all the resources available so that people will suffer as little as possible. This is the message we would like to hear from the prime minister today,” said Korn, who is also leader of the Kla Party, in his Facebook post on Sunday.
He stressed the importance of sending a signal to the people to build confidence, among business operators and workers, that the government is financially stable and is capable of alleviating their hardships, even if that means the government having to borrow more.
Korn pointed out, however, that there is still about 200 billion baht from the first loan and about 400 billion from the second loan, which has not been disbursed, due to bureaucratic red tape.
He suggested that this money be used as an emergency fund to help those who remain jobless following the first outbreak, those who were given 5,000 baht for three months under the “We don’t leave people behind” programme, people and retailers who benefitted from the 50:50 co-payment scheme and operators of hotels, food shops and other service providers who have to bear the burden of rental and labour fees and bank interest.
Korn noted the incompetence of government officials and the obsolete bureaucratic system which, he said, was manifest in the failure to stem the illegal border crossings and the widespread existence of illegal gambling dens.