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business

Business leaders push Prayut to lower credit bar for struggling SMEs


Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will hold talks with the Thai Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday (June 23) in a bid to boost liquidity for SMEs struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic.

The chamber will press the PM to inject financial institutions’ spare liquidity into small and medium enterprises (SMEs), including retail operators, at an acceptable risk level, revealed Sanan Angubolkul, chairman of the chamber’s board.

He said the government should have a central policy that encourages financial institutions to release more loans.

The chamber is also in talks with three commercial banks – Kasikorn, Siam Commercial and Bangkok Bank – for further SME debt-relief measures and will discuss the same with Thai Military Bank, Krung Thai Bank, and Kiatnakin Phatra Bank. It said the banks need to help debtors, but there are still restrictions that must be addressed.

Meanwhile the Finance Ministry’s asset warehousing project has received few applicants because its tight conditions caused worry among both commercial banks and debtors themselves, the chamber said. Debtors were worried about possible obstacles when it comes to retrieving their assets, while banks were worried that debtors who deposited assets with them might not return. The chamber also said the bar against credit bureau data being included in criteria for credit approval should be lifted, as it was preventing SMEs from accessing funding sources.

It also urged the government to accelerate its co-payment scheme subsidising 50 per cent of employee salaries as payments had lapsed for more than a year.

It urged the government to apply additional assistance measures, pointing out that incomes continue to decline in the face of Thailand’s ongoing third and biggest wave of Covid-19.

Published : June 21, 2021

By : The Nation