The Government Savings Bank (GSB) has told staff to proceed next month in filing lawsuits against teachers and other education personnel who have not acceded to measures for relaxing debt-repayment conditions introduced by the bank in May.
The directive issued to executives and branch-office directors on Wednesday comes after 100 teachers vowed on July 14 to stop repaying loans from the Funeral Service Welfare Fund for Teachers and Education Personnel and the GSB, starting on August 1.
They urged 450,000 other debtors to join them in halting debt repayments to pressure the government and GSB to place a six-month moratorium on pay-back instalments.
Saying they’re willing to make good on their debts, they ultimately want the annual interest rate lowered from the current 5-7 per cent to 1 per cent, the same rate applied to farmers repaying government loans.
Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said he didn’t want the matter to reach the point where the bank was suing teachers, saying it could hurt their standing in the civil service.
Justice Ministry deputy permanent secretary Thawatchai Thaikhiew had said earlier that teachers who failed to repay loans exceeding Bt1 million could be forced into bankruptcy for three years, along with any guarantors.
He said bankruptcy would disqualify the teachers for positions in the civil service under the Government Teacher and Education Personnel Act 2004.