Bank Helps 6.7M Poor Households Access Low-Interest Loans

Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Bank for Social Policy, Tran Lan Phuong, speaks to Nong thon Ngay nay (Countryside Today) newspaper on extending loans to farmers to expand their production. What were the major achievements of the Vietnam Bank for Social Policy in 2018? In 2018, the Vietnam Bank for Social Policy (VBSP) achieved remarkable successes in its task assigned by the Prime Minister. Our achievements have contributed to the implementation of the National Targeted Program on sustainable reduction in poverty, building new rural areas and political stability at grassroots levels. By late 2018, the total outstanding debt of the bank’s credit policy stood at almost VND187.8 billion ($8 million) – an increase of more than VND16,000 billion against that of the previous year. Last year was also a successful one for the VBSP in recovering debt with a staggering figure of almost VND45,900 billion. In the same year, the bank granted total credit of more than VND62,000 billion to 6.7 million poor households and families of special social policy. Our social credit policy has been invested in 100% of communes, wards and towns nationwide. More importantly, our credit fund has helped many poor households to expand their business production and generate jobs for more than 243,000 people. Our social credit fund has helped some 6,000 poor people work abroad on labor contracts and some 51,000 students with special circumstances to continue their studies. All in all, our credit scheme has helped improve the livelihood of many people living in the countryside through various programs, including the clean water and sanitation program and the building of social houses in accordance to Government Decree 100/2015. By late December 2018, the total bank’s outstanding debt stood at 0.78% of the total debt, of which overdue debt accounted for only 0.39% – the lowest among Vietnamese credit organizations. What about the trust fund activities from the local social policy banks to the VBSP? I should say 2018 was a successful year for the transfer of trust funds from local social policy banks to the VBSP with a total amount of VND2.764 billion – the highest level recorded in the last 16 years. By December 31, 2018, the VBSP had received a total sum of VND11,809 billion from all provinces and cities nationwide. This is an indication of the high sense of responsibility of the entire Party and Government and the general public on social policy activities. In 2019, what will the VBSP focus on to improve the quality of its credit activities? Granting more credit to poor and near-poor households as well as families of social policy is a top priority of the VBSP in 2019. We understand that our credit program will serve as a cornerstone in the implementation of the National Targeted Programs for New Rural Development and Sustainable Poverty Reduction. In addition, the VBSP will review all current social credit policies and make some changes to make them more suitable for our clients’ – the farmers’ – demands, particularly poor and near-poor households and households that have just climbed above the poverty line. We will also speed up the disbursement of our social credit program for the poor to try to override loan sharks in many rural areas. (Vietnam News Jan 23)