The Cabinet this week approved in principle an initiative to help members of the Farmers Reconstruction and Development Fund pay their debts using the Government Savings Bank (GSB), the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC), the Government Housing Bank (GH Bank) and SME Development Bank.
The three-year-debt-restructuring project will help cover about 9.28 billion baht in debt for about 50,600 farmers under the fund. Officials plan to provide assistance to 10,000 of those eligible in the first year, another 22,000 in the following year, and the remaining 18,600 in the final year of the project.
Data figures indicate that of the 50,600 debtors, nearly 48,000 are from the BAAC, about 550 are with the GSB, nearly 2000 are with the GH Bank, and the remaining debtors are from SME Development Bank.
Under the debt-restructuring program, the four participating banks will freeze half of the repayment of principal debt and all of the interest. Debtors need only pay half of the principal debt within a set period of time no longer than 15 years. Once this is accomplished, the government will pay the frozen sum. Notably, participating debtors must not accrue any additional debt from other financial institutes.
The initiative is expected to help farmers with chronic debt problems, preventing them from losing their land and residences while providing them with access to financial aid. (NNT)