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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Prime Minister Settha Thavisin Declares War on Informal Debt, Labeling It Modern-Day Slavery

Bangkok, November 28, 2023: In a resolute move against a persistent societal ill, Prime Minister and Finance Minister Settha Thavisin declared war on informal debt, characterizing it as modern-day slavery that has long plagued Thai society. The Prime Minister took to Twitter at 1:00 p.m. on November 28, 2023, to underscore the gravity of the issue and announce urgent measures.

Mr. Thavisin emphasized that informal debt, akin to “modern world slavery,” strips away freedom and dreams from individuals in this era. Recognizing the chronic and widespread nature of the problem, the government has elevated the resolution of informal debt to a national agenda, acknowledging its profound impact on many Thai citizens.

“The debt problem is chronic and too large to be solved without the government as an intermediary,” tweeted Prime Minister Thavisin. To address the issue comprehensively, the government will integrate various sectors, including administrative departments, the police, and the Ministry of Finance. The goal is to prevent individuals from perpetually falling into the debt cycle outside the formal system.

The government will play a crucial role as an intermediary, ensuring fair treatment for both creditors and debtors. Prime Minister Thavisin outlined a multi-faceted approach, encompassing the entire mediation process. This involves handling cases from the beginning to the resolution, rectifying contracts that violate the law, addressing unfair interest rates, and eliminating violent debt collection practices. The focus is on creating fair contracts that adhere to legal standards.

While acknowledging that solving the debt problem is not a miracle cure, Prime Minister Thavisin expressed confidence that a better economy would lead to increased incomes for citizens. He envisioned a future where citizens wouldn’t need to resort to debt and highlighted the importance of providing small citizens with access to more funding sources within the system.

In collaboration with various agencies, the government aims to give debtors a chance to regain their financial footing, alleviating mental stress and enabling them to move forward with their lives. The initiative strives not only to solve the current debt crisis but also to prevent the recurrence of informal debt in the future. The overarching goal is to create a more equitable economic landscape and enhance opportunities for citizens to access funding sources within the established financial system.

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