November 2, 2017 / 11:44 AM / 3 years ago

Thailand defends plan to transfer money from idle accounts to treasury

BANGKOK, Nov 2 (Reuters) - A planned Thai law allowing the transfer of money from bank accounts left inactive for more than 10 years to the treasury “will be in the public interest”, the finance minister said on Thursday.

The move would help reduce the government’s borrowing costs in maintaining the treasury level, Apisak Tantivorawong told reporters.

“Those accounts parked with the government will be useful for the public as they can be counted as treasury money,” he said.

“But I can confirm that it’s not seizing people’s money as reported,” he said, adding account owners or their heirs would be able to reclaim the money at any time.

Money in long-dormant accounts is estimated at about 10 billion baht ($302 million), ministry official Suwit Rojanavanich said earlier this week.

The ministry plans to seek cabinet approval for the law in December after seeking public opinion. ($1 = 33.11 baht) (Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon; Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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