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The proposed increase in the minimum wage would be welcomed by employees but the private sector is opposed to it. SME operators might be so adversely affected they might go out of business.
Suphan Mongkholsuthee, president of the Federation of Thai Industries, commented that the proposed increase in the minimum wage is yet to get approval from the Tripartite Committee. He said the minimum wage cannot be set as a flat rate nationwide. He said the minimum wage should depend on the economic conditions of each area. If the minimum wage were increased, it would benefit over three million migrant workers, who would remit their incomes to their home country. For that reason, the money would not be circulated within Thailand.
The Federation of Thai Industries president suggested that the government create a Social Security fund by deducting 5% of the employee’s wage in addition to the 2.75% in supplementary fund, so that it will total 7.75%. Such a measure may be implemented on temporary basis or may last for six months to one year or until the economic situation has improved.
The employer’s 5% contribution should remain unchanged to add to the employee’s purchasing power instead of increasing the minimum wage. That measure will not seriously affect the employer. The private sector considers the current wages of most people are appropriate. Besides, the wages should be paid in proportion to the employee’s working skills.