Thailand’s social conditions in last year’s 4th quarter saw reduced unemployment but a higher amount of household debt, particularly for vehicles, according to a state planning agency.
National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) Deputy Secretary-General Suwannee Kamman said in the 4th quarter, Thailand’s unemployment rate stood low at 0.48 per cent or 190,000 persons, from 0.63 per cent year-on-year, while employment increased 1.7 per cent with 39.6 million persons employed nationwide, and mostly in the agricultural sector.
The unemployment rate stood on average at 0.66 per cent throughout 2012.
The unemployment rate of those graduating in liberal arts, journalism, and information technology still ranked first at 2.2-3.8 per cent.
Ms Suwannee said the Bt300 minimum wage has not yet led to overall layoffs, but the situation must be closely monitored, for 16,900 juristic persons last year closed their businesses.
Meanwhile, she said that household debt has increased, particularly on vehicles. Despite that, default on payments has not been seen, though it must be monitored again this year.
Household savings tended to decrease, she said, while the number of households nationwide failing to save rose to 45 per cent.
The excessive withdrawal of deposits from two specialised state-operated banks–Bt4.8 billion in 20 days–will not affect the country’s financial institutions system, Bank of Thailand (BoT) Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said today.
He said the two institutions – the Thai Islamic Bank (IBank) and the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME Bank) – are wholly owned by the Finance Ministry and their market shares are minimal.
Regarding a call for the BoT to supervise the two banks, Mr Prasarn said the Finance Ministry wants to oversee the six special purpose banks while the BoT merely informs the ministry if it finds unusual or unscrupulous financial activities.
The BoT is willing to supervise the six banks if requested by the Finance Ministry, he said.
In addition to the IBank and SME Bank, the four other specialised banks supervised by the Finance Ministry are the Government Savings Bank, the Government Housing Bank, the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives and the Export-Import Bank.
The unusual withdrawal of deposits from the IBank and the SME Bank was due to their very high level–Bt24 billion–of non-performing loans. (MCOT online news)
Thai fruit exports to FTA markets up 107 percent
China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia and Chile are top importers of Thai fruits, especially fresh durian, mangosteen, longan and mango. Thai exporters are able to benefit from FTA privileges.
BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand’s fruit exports continue to increase, despite the sluggish global economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with key trade partners being countries that have free trade agreements (FTAs) with the kingdom.
The Future of Asia: greener but with a public and private debt hangover
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a perfect storm, destroying jobs, worsening poverty and inequality, and creating a public and private debt problem—especially for countries and firms already in fragile financial health beforehand
50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension
BANGKOK (NNT) – The government’s 50:50 co-pay campaign expiring on 31st March may not be getting an immediate campaign extension. The Minister of Finance says campaign evaluation is needed to improve future campaigns.
The Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith today announced the government may not be able to reach a conclusion on the extension of the 50:50 co-pay campaign in time for the current 31st March campaign end date, as evaluations are needed to better improve the campaign.
Originally introduced last year, the 50:50 campaign is a financial aid campaign for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the government subsidizes up to half the price of purchases at participating stores, with a daily cap on the subsidy amount of 150 baht, and a 3,500 baht per person subsidy limit over the entire campaign.
The campaign has already been extended once, with the current end date set for 31st March.
The Finance Minister said that payout campaigns for the general public are still valid in this period, allowing time for the 50:50 campaign to be assessed, and to address reports of fraud at some participating stores.
The Fiscal Police Office Director General and the Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Kulaya Tantitemit, said today that a bigger quota could be offered in Phase 3 of the 50:50 campaign beyond the 15 million people enrolled in the first two phases, while existing participants will need to confirm their identity if they want to participate in Phase 3, without the need to fill out the registration form.
Mrs Kulaya said the campaign will still be funded by emergency loan credit allocated for pandemic compensation, which still has about 200 billion baht available as of today.
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