PM to hobnob with Din Daeng locals

PM to hobnob with Din Daeng locals

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin will visit residents in Bangkok’s Din Daeng area this afternoon to discuss social issues and ways to improve the quality of life for residents in these communities.

The topics of discussion are likely to involve welfare, debt problems and drug use, all of which the government is concerned about.

According to a source, the prime minister plans to meet people along Prachasongkhroh Soi 1, 5, 7, 9 and 11 alleys and also at the Din Daeng central market during his visit.

He will be accompanied by Social Development and Human Security Minister Varawut Silpa-archa, Prime Minister’s Office Minister Puangpetch Chunla-ead and Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt.

The visit follows Mr Srettha’s announcement last month that he would avoid going overseas for two months in light of public criticism about his frequent foreign trips since taking office.

His remark was said to be a response to an article by a columnist who urged him to pay more heed to issues at home.

According to Suttipong Juljarern, the permanent secretary, more than 25,00 people have managed to settle their informal debts worth over a billion baht in the government’s debt settlement programme, one of the government’s flagship policies since taking office.

As of March 29, the Department of Provincial Administration reported that 41,686 had entered the debt negotiation process, and 25,408 had already settled their debts with creditors.

He said Songkhla, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nakhon Sawan, Nakhon Ratchasima and Si Sa Ket reported a high rate of success, adding that 375 disputes were to be forwarded to police.

They were among the 153,400 people who registered for the government’s debt settlement programme from Dec 1 to Feb 29, with informal debts of almost 12 billion baht accumulated.

Mr Suttipong called on state agencies to speed up bringing both debtors and creditors into the formal negotiation process so the registered debtors could have their problems addressed and more people could get help.

The permanent secretary also instructed provincial governors to set up debt clinics to continue providing assistance to the debtors so they could pay off debts, remain debt-free and have a better quality of life.

“Although debt registration was closed, the negotiation process is still ongoing. Moreover, the efforts to improve the people’s quality of life must continue,” he said.