The two-month debt holiday announced this week by the central bank could be extended further, since the Thai economy is still a long way from recovery, the Finance Minister said on Friday.
The measure is aimed at borrowers affected by the pandemic, but they “may not be able to repay in time,” Arkom Termpittayapaisith said during an economics seminar.
The situation must be monitored to make sure individuals as well as small and medium enterprises remain in business until the economy starts to recover, he added.
On Thursday, the Bank of Thailand allowed debt repayments to be suspended for debtor groups in 10 provinces under lockdown measures.
The measure will start with monthly installment due in July. Those interested can contact creditors to apply the debt suspension from July 19.
The central bank also said it will enable debtors outside lockdown areas who are facing the impact indirectly to receive assistance on a case-by-case basis.
Ronadol Numnonda, deputy governor at the Financial Institutions Stability Department, said on Friday that the central bank is studying the Prime Minister’s request to reduce the interest rate ceiling.
Initially, Ronadol viewed that reducing the interest rate ceiling needed to be taken into account thoroughly as some borrowers do not have access to formal credit and still borrow informally.
“Lowering the interest rate may not be the only way to help borrowers,” he added.