Factory losses in flood estimated at Bt230 billion

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BANGKOK, Dec 20 – The estimated financial losses of industrial plants due to this year’s flood crisis reached Bt230 billion, according to the Department of Industrial Works.

Director-General Arthit Wuthikaro spoke Tuesday at a seminar on post-flood rehabilitation in cooperation with German International Cooperation (GTZ).

The calculation was made based on 7,510 flood-hit factories in 40 Thai provinces.  Most damage was due to machinery losses at Bt86.5 billion, while the rest involved raw materials, merchandise being produced and finished goods. The overall cost of damages will be estimated by the end of the month.

Mr Arthit said he expected that all plants are speeding up their restoration activities. Pathum Thani’s Navanakorn Industrial Park will resume almost full operation by March next year, while he said small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can reopen most easily, as seen as at Ayutthaya’s Factory Land Industrial Estate where 90 plants already resumed work.

The government has a Bt140 billion budget for financial assistance measures particularly to assist SMEs. Of the total budget, Bt100 billion is earmarked for loan guarantees by the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation, while the remaining Bt40 billion is set for loans to be issued by 14 financial institutions.

The director-general said each flood-hit entrepreneur can ask for a Bt15 million loan for use as working capital and for machinery improvements.

The Industry Ministry also set up a unit to assist entrepreneurs and will seek additional budget to help small-scale entrepreneurs for machinery repair and management of wastewater and industrial waste.