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Thai workers debt hits 10 years high

The average worker’s family have a personal debt of 138,000 bahts, almost 10 times their monthly income

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According to the latest survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) based on 1,194 respondents whose income is lower than 15,000 baht per month, 96% of them were in debt.

The survey estimated average debt per household at 137,988 baht, the highest level in 10 years, up by almost 5% from 2017.

Default rate up to 85%

Up to 34% of the current household debt of poor families is still managed by the informal sector

Up to 34% of the current household debt of poor families is still managed by the informal sector (known as loan sharks)

Some 85.4% of respondents have defaulted on debt repayments in the past 12 months, mostly because of lower income, higher expenses, rising product prices, and a higher debt burden and interest rates.

According to an infographic published by the Bangkok Post, up to 34% of the current household debt of poor families is still managed by the informal sector (known as loan sharks) with interest rates as high as 20% per month.

Laborers with wages under 15,000 baht a month are showing the highest rate of debt in 10 years according to a survey conducted by The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s Economic and Business Forecasting Center.

Average debt of 138,000 baht up 5%

Of the 1,194 people questioned, as many as 96 percent said they have debts, the highest figure in 10 years. The average household debt for respondents was gauged at 137,988 baht, up 4.9 percent on-year with most having to make a monthly payment on average of 5,326 baht.

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Economics

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

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The Sydney Opera resumed live performances and the city of Melbourne recently hosted the Australian Open tennis tournament with fans (mostly) in attendance.

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Economics

50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension

National News Bureau of Thailand

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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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Economics

Customs Department Considers Measures to Help SMEs

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The Customs Department is seeking ways to reduce the impact of the exemption on import tax and value-added tax (VAT) for imported goods worth up to 1,500 baht, as such measures are hurting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

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