He has instructed high-ranking officials along with government agencies to urgently introduce short- and mid-term measures that would reduce economic disparity and provide support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
"Fixing inequality is an urgent matter, and reforms which are required to fix structural problems will begin in this government and carry on to the next," the PM said yesterday at the "Third Ministry Chief Executive or Equivalent Level Meeting for 2015", held at the Finance Ministry.
"If there is a need to use Article 44 [of the interim charter] to amend or upgrade any regulation that would facilitate the introduction of such measures, then so be it since this government has the duty to lower inequality," he said.
Article 44 gives the junta chief sweeping powers.
Rungson Sriworasat, permanent secretary of the Finance Ministry, said the premier is worried about low-income earners and SMEs that have limited collateral and are currently experiencing a lack of liquidity. Government financial agencies such as SME Bank, the Government Savings Bank and the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives have responded by planning a state banks' roadshow throughout the country, which kicks off around the end of this month, he said.
"The Finance Ministry has already introduced a nano-finance scheme, but there has been only a small response from the public since not that many people know about it, and the financial institutions that offer such loans are only in large cities," he said. "Nevertheless, the roadshow should create more awareness and this type of credit is expected to increase as seven firms have already been granted nano-finance licences since it was introduced, and some are already offering these loans. We will compete with 'Money Expo' on this one," he added.