Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha (Source: VNA)
Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha has announced a new strategy to build a “People’s State” with the aim to bring into full play the combined strength of the State, people and businesses towards the country’s sustainable development.

Speaking at a forum in suburban Bangkok on September 20, the PM said that the policy will help strengthen the grassroots economy and support business communities at localities.

Accordingly, the relation between citizens, the government and enterprises is equal. This means the parties will have similar responsibilities, and cooperate and support each other for sustainable economic development, he stated.

He added that the government will serve as a coordinator and create favourable conditions for collaboration between private businesses and people.

Under the scheme, the state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) and the Government Savings Bank (GSB) will be the lenders of a seven-year term loan to 59,000 Village Funds at 1 million THB each with no interest in the first two years. Low-income earners in rural areas are prohibited from borrowing this money to repay debts.

The Interior Ministry will allocate the 36.275 billion THB available from the reserve budget in the 2015-2016 fiscal year to 7,255 communes.

The strategy is implemented in line with an economic stimulus package worth 136 billion THB (3.8 billion USD) recently approved by the government.

The government has also introduced another stimulus package providing credit for small- and medium-sized enterprises. The measure includes 100 billion THB in soft loans, a 100-billion-THB credit guarantee to encourage banks to lend SMEs and a five-year corporate income tax exemption for SME start-ups.-VNA