Debt Moratorium for Farmers
The Thai government has announced plans to introduce a debt moratorium for farmers in the fourth quarter of this year. This initiative will cover both debt principal and interest, providing financial relief to those in the agricultural sector. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin revealed this plan and anticipates cabinet approval at their first meeting.
Additional Measures to Boost Economy
In addition to the debt moratorium, various measures are being proposed to cut living costs and stimulate the economy. These efforts include lowering energy prices and offering a temporary visa waiver program for Chinese nationals.
Technology and Knowledge Sharing for Farmers
The government recognizes the importance of aiding farmers in reducing costs and increasing their income. To achieve this, they plan to promote knowledge sharing and technology use within the farming industry. Precision agriculture and the use of organic fertilizers in place of chemical ones are some of the techniques that will be encouraged.
Duration and Eligibility of the Moratorium
According to a Finance Ministry source, the debt moratorium is expected to last for three years and will be applicable to small-scale farmers with loan amounts not exceeding 1 million baht each. Prime Minister Srettha, who also serves as the Finance Minister, claimed that this initiative would not impact government compliance with fiscal discipline, without providing further details.
Tackling Illegal Pork Imports
The government will also outline measures to address the issue of illegal pork imports, which has become a significant national concern.
State Welfare Challenges
Despite calls for a universal state welfare system, Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat insists that Thailand is not yet in a position to implement such a program. He cites the country’s insufficient revenue and the need for a taxation structure overhaul as reasons for the unfeasibility of a state welfare system providing equal assistance to all citizens. The Deputy Finance Minister’s statement came in response to criticism from Move Forward Party MP Sasinan Thamnithinan concerning selective welfare coverage.
The Thai government plans to introduce a debt moratorium for farmers in the fourth quarter, aiming to alleviate financial burdens and enhance the economy. Additional measures, such as lowering energy prices and a temporary visa waiver for Chinese nationals, are also proposed. The government will support farmers through knowledge sharing and the adoption of new technologies, including precision agriculture and organic fertilizers. However, a universal state welfare system remains unfeasible at this time due to insufficient revenue and the need for tax structure reform.