Help poor debtors, PM urges collectors
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Help poor debtors, PM urges collectors

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has urged loan-shark debt collectors to sympathise with their debtors because most of them are people on low incomes.

In his weekly televised address last night, Gen Prayut, who is also chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), said the government is adamant about pushing forward a draft law concerning debt collection, which was approved by the NCPO in July.

The law is now being studied and considered by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) and has already passed its second reading.

The legislation requires all debt collectors to register with the Finance Ministry and prohibits them from threatening or using violence against debtors. It bars debt collectors from approaching debtors at their workplaces or during the night and stops them seeking payments from debtors' relatives.

Those who break the law will face jail time, Gen Prayut said.

"I urge all loan sharks to show kindness and understanding to low-income debtors. This is an important issue," Gen Prayut said.

Gen Prayut said the government will use a number of laws against wrongdoers, but aside from legal measures, a moderate lifestyle based on His Majesty the King's sufficiency economy philosophy should be observed.

Meanwhile, Gen Prayut warned low-income farmers receiving financial support from the government are at risk of being cheated.

"Don't believe people who say they will receive the money on your behalf. You must ensure that you collect the money," Gen Prayut said.

"I promise that all registered farmers will receive their money."

Gen Prayut also used the address to urge the media to be responsible, following reports that EU ambassadors recently met Thai media professionals to raise concerns over violations of the right to privacy for both victims of crime and criminals.

"I ask the media to be extra careful when it comes to human rights issues because they directly affect our international standing," he said.

Thailand recently bid for a seat on the UN's Human Rights Council. The country was not selected, but all Thais must be proud because 136 nations around the world supported Thailand, Gen Prayut said.

"This is a satisfactory result," he said.

Gen Prayut also urged people to cooperate with the government.

"I assure you that we are doing our best to bring reform to all areas. We need your cooperation in order to achieve our ultimate goal. If we don't help each other now, we will not be able to help our country.

"I am open to all suggestions that will help solve society's problems, but some problems may take time," he said.

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