Industry Ministry defers SMEs' debt payments

Industry Ministry defers SMEs' debt payments

The Industry Ministry will suspend debt payments for 12 months for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) affected by the Covid-19 outbreak who borrowed money from the 20-billion-baht Pracha Rat fund.

The measure will cover over 5,600 businesses in the agriculture and processing, retail, services and tourism sectors.

Kobchai Sungsitthisawad, the industry permanent secretary, said local businesses can apply for debt suspension between April 10 to June 30 at the SME Development Bank.

"The cabinet has approved the rescue measures by suspending debt payments for 12 months for SMEs to fight the spread of Covid-19 and the drought crisis," he said.

The government expects the measure will reduce the non-performing loan rate for SMEs.

Since 2017, the government has operated a soft loan scheme under the Pracha Rat fund with 20 billion baht for SMEs, in line with the Thailand 4.0 initiative.

"The Pracha Rat fund aims to support and help SMEs boost efficiency, productivity, quality, training programmes and marketing as many businesses struggle with slow growth and cannot access loans from financial institutions," said Mr Kobchai.

He said the rescue measure will cover many provinces such as Bangkok, Samut Prakran, Songkla, Samut Sakhon, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathom and Phuket.

In February, the Industry Ministry teamed up with state agencies and business operators to help over 100,000 businesses access financing through the Pracha Rat fund.

The project included partners such as SME D Bank, the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation, the Federation of Thai Industries, the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Thai SMEs Association and the Thai Federation of Provincial Tourist Associations.

There are 5 million SMEs registered legally in Thailand.

The Industry Ministry recently announced it plans to roll out rescue measures by suspending debt payments for 6-12 months for 2,500 small community enterprises and SMEs through a revolving fund for household industries and handicrafts.

The measure covers businesses in food, drinks, herbs, jewellery, souvenirs and clothing.

Producers can apply for debt suspension in April.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT

Turkey applies strict new social media rules

ISTANBUL: Turkey on Thursday enters a new era of tight social media restrictions that threaten to erase the local presence of Facebook and Twitter should they fail to take down contentious posts.

10:45

BJC lowers investment

In keeping with projections that the economy will take about three years to fully recover, Berli Jucker (BJC) has lowered its retail investment for the next three years.

10:02

Glitch halts all trade on Tokyo stock exchange

TOKYO: A technical problem forced a halt to all trading on Tokyo's stock exchanges on Thursday, with no information on when activity would resume, the bourse's operator said.

09:45