RTP helping free officers from debt

RTP helping free officers from debt

The Royal Thai Police (RTP) has provided help to about 2,800 of approximately 7,300 police officers taking part in its new debt-relief programme, with those in the scheme among almost 165,000 officers said to be heavily in the red.

Debt-saddled officers account for about 80% of all 205,448 officers in the RTP, said government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana yesterday. Their combined debt, as of mid-November last year, amounted to just over 322 billion baht. Of the total, 231.43 billion baht were debts incurred through police cooperatives; the rest were with financial institutions.

"Roughly 2,800 officers whose debt-payment burdens have been relieved under the programme owed, in total, 4.04 billion baht as of Nov 15 last year," said the spokesman.

He said the programme aims to help police officers better cope with their household debts and has been launched in response to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's order to assist all state agencies with a large number of staff deep in debt.

"Through its cooperatives, the RTP can provide police officers relief on debt-payment burdens through various measures including lower interest on loans," he said.

Additional measures include debt restructuring and transference of debt from other financial institutions to police cooperatives, said the spokesman.

He added that Gen Prayut has stressed the importance of educating all civil servants in financial literacy and helping them sharpen their skills in managing personal finance, both efforts seen as more effective ways to cope with household debt rates.

According to RTP spokesman Pol Maj Gen Yingyos Thepchamnong, in order to expand the debt-relief programme and help more officers, Thailand's national police chief, Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk, has ordered his deputy and assistant, Pol Gen Piya Uthayo and Pol Lt Gen Preecha Jaroensahayanont respectively, to step up implementation of all debt-relief measures at police cooperatives nationwide.

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