Two new government measures issued to help SME businesses hit by wage hike

Friday, 15 February 2013 From Issue Vol. XXI No. 7 By  MCOT

The Thai government has initiated two measures to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) affected by the Bt300 daily minimum wage.

Prime Minister’s Office Minister Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan said after chairing the first meeting of a committee to help SME businesses that many factors are impacting business, including the eurozone debt crisis and the US economic slowdown, combined with domestic factors such as the January 1st nationwide minimum wage hike and the baht appreciation.

Niwattumrong said state agencies have insufficient information regarding the impact on SME business, citing that the Labor Ministry has been officially informed that only 60 private business operators were affected.

He said the committee wants more details on the number of affected businesses and what kind of help they need.

The committee issued two measures to deal with the problems, starting with opening more channels of communication for business operators to apply for the government’s assistance.

He said a centre to assist SME business will open under the Office of the Prime Minister. Those who seek help could send the information to www.sme1111.opm .go.th from Monday, or to the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion and other concerned state agencies from the end of this week.

The second measure, according to Niwattumrong, is to establish two sub-committees; the first to survey the impact and problems affecting SME businesses, while another group will analyze the problems and propose solutions.

He said once the center compiles the data on the needs of the affected businesses, he will present it for consideration of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Deputy Premier/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na Ranong.

Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom said today that apart from the new center under the PM’s Office, upcountry, operations will be supervised by the governors who will gather information from provincial branches of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) and provincial chambers of commerce where affected businesses can apply for help.

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