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Thailand: A Financial Package Approved to Assist Flood-Hit People and Business Operators
Source: thailand.prd.go.th
Source Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Country: Thailand
Created: Oct 31, 2011

A financial package of 325 billion baht has been approved by the Cabinet, during its meeting on October 25, to assist the people and business operators affected by the flooding.

The package will be offered to three groups of affected people: those operating large businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and micro-businesses, including farmers.

Out of the amount, 65 billion baht will be in the form of a credit line for large businesses, including foreign investors, to use for production in industrial estates and the construction of dykes to protect their areas. A total of 170 billion-baht credit will be extended for SMEs, with a low interest rate. An 80-billion-baht loan will be extended to micro-business operators and farmers by the Government Savings Bank, the Government Housing Bank, and the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives. Another 10 billion baht in credit will be offered by the Social Security Program for entrepreneurs to repair their workplaces.

Other measures seek to extend promotional privileges for the investors whose investments have been hit by floods and to facilitate their operations in terms of the granting of their visas and work permits. Another financial measure will be in the form of compensation offered to flood victims for their damaged houses and property.

The financial package was proposed by the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, which stated that the flooding impact on the people and businesses was very serious. The Government needs to prepare urgent measures to ease the hardships of flood victims and rehabilitate affected businesses.

The Cabinet assigned the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Labor, and the Ministry of Finance to prepare information for the registration of flood-hit people and businesses, so that financial institutions could offer special credit for them.

It also declared Thursday, October 27, Friday, October 28, and Monday, October 31 an extra government holiday in 21 provinces to allow residents to protect their houses and property and handle the flooding situation. The 21 provinces include Sukhothai, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chai Nat, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Lop Buri, Saraburi, Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Chachoengsao, Suphan Buri, Nakhon Pathom, Kamphaeng Phet, Tak, and Bangkok.

Officials operating to assist flood victims and handle water management will continue their duty as usual. Affected schools and other educational institutions will postpone the opening of their second semester to November 15. The Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Industry were asked to seek cooperation from companies to continue to produce consumer goods during the government holiday.
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