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Cut policy rate, aid disaster recovery: Kittiratt

Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong yesterday urged the Bank of Thailand to slash interest rates to help people and firms devastated by flooding to recover, as the government had inflation under control.

“The central bank should consider reducing its policy rate at the upcoming meeting to help all industries and boost private sector growth,” he said. The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) also called for the government to help shoulder the operating costs of enterprises affected by flooding by providing soft loans to them.

Kittiratt agreed that enterprises needed soft loans to reconstruct their business after being struck by floods.

FTI chairman Payungsak Chartsutipol said the floods would cause a loss of between Bt50 billion and Bt60 billion to industry, with about Bt10 billion in the North and Bt40 billion to Bt50 billion in the Central provinces, where flood waters have destroyed several industrial estates in Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani.

No loss to the export sector will be seen in the next few months. If supply chains are not suspended for too long, overall exports should be fine, he said.

The impact could be prolonged and will seriously hurt the footwear industry as well as the logistics industry for auto parts, tyres and electronic parts.

Although industrial estates have been crippled, foreign investors will not likely consider moving overseas, as the flooding is an extraordinary situation.

“Some plants have insurance and have carefully managed their operations to ensure minimum impact to their business.

“Investor confidence will not be eroded easily by the flooding,” Payungsak said.

Source: Bangkok Post

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