Finance to propose Section 44 to deal with loan sharks

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The Finance Ministry is now considering to propose the prime minister to invoke Section 44 of the interim constitution to tackle loan sharks after its earlier attempts to help the poor out of these daily lenders’ harassment failed.

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Finance minister Apisak Tantiworawong admitted that past three attempts to help low income earners out of their debts with these daily lenders’ failed.

They have returned again, he said, promoting the ministry to consider propose the prime minister to invoke Section 44 of the interim constitution to tackle the problem.

He said the Finance Ministry has discussed with the Fiscal Policy Office to look into how to solve the problem definitely.

One solution that could answer all questions was for the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives and the Government Saving Bank to jointly set up the centre to address external debt, offer loan without any collateral.

And the proposal to use Section 44 to jail any money lender who charges extremely high interest rate.

He said Section 44 in the 2014 interim charter authorised Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to unilaterally intervene in the face of any perceived threats to national security, the economy, the monarchy or state affairs.

After that, he said, the ministry will introduce the “Pico Finance” to grant loan with the interest rate charge not exceed 36 per cent per year which could eventually ease loan shark problem.