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GSB and BAAC extend over 10 billion baht in emergency loans to low-income earners

The Government Savings Bank (GSB) and the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) have collectively extended emergency loans amounting to 10 billion baht to some 220,000 people so they do not have to seek loans from “loan sharks” and fall into unorganized debt trap.

Pornchai Theeravet, spokesman of the Fiscal Policy Office, said that the two state-owned banks also extended another 670 million baht in emergency loans to 15,000 low-income earners who have registered to be eligible to receive state welfare.

He said that, so far, the two state-run banks had lent over 10 billion baht to some 240,000 low-income earners to prevent them falling into the unorganized debt trap.

Mr Pornchai disclosed that, as of March this year, there were altogether 458 applications from 66 provinces to operate Pico financial service.  Of these, 201 of them in 54 provinces have become operational, with most of them in Nakhon Ratchasima, Bangkok and Roi Et.

The Pico finance operators have, so far, extended loans amounting to 313 million baht to 165 borrowers.  The number of NPLs or unpaid debts over three months in a row has dropped to about 3.96 percent of the total debts owed.

Pico Finance is a retail loan business with registered capital of more than 5 million baht. The Pico Finance provides loans of not exceeding 50,000 per person with interest rate of less than 36% per year. Each operator is able to extend loans only in the registered province.

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