Thailand SMEs want Govt. to extend debt moratorium

Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (Osmep)chief, Veerapong Malai.

Most small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) wanted the government to extend debt moratorium period for not exceeding six months and most SMEs have no plan to reduce their workforce, according to a poll on the liquidity of SMEs and post-Covid employment situations.

The poll was conducted between June 20-27 by the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (Osmep) among 2,582 SMEs in 21 types of businesses nationwide concerning the Covid-19 fallout, said Osmep chief, Veerapong Malai.

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The poll revealed that most SMEs or about 55% have not sought loans while 1,148 SMEs or about 44.5% sought loans, mostly from financial institutions at 87.8% and 12.2% were informal loans.

Most SMEs or 78.9% wanted the government to extend debt moratorium measures and 48.1% agreed that the extension period should not exceed six months, followed by 26.7%, who said it should not be over three months.

Most respondents or 39.8% viewed that suspension of debt repayment should be extended for business loans and 23.6% for personal loans.

What assistance measures they wanted most was soft loans at 59.6% and collateral free loans at 31.2%.

Most SMEs or 40.3% of those, responding to the poll wanted a credit line of 1,000-50,000 baht, followed by 100,001-500,000 baht at 19.2%.

SMEs are a primary source of employment of almost 14 million people, Veerapong said.

The opinion survey on the post –Covid-19 employment situations among 2,582 SMEs found that 84.6% and 86.1 % of SMEs respectively have cut neither the number of employees nor wage as of now. (TNA)