HA NOI (VNS)— About 1.5 million households in Viet Nam who are living near the poverty line will soon be able to access preferential loans from the Government.
Under Decision 15/2013/QD-TTg signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung last Saturday, loans for these households will accompany an interest rate of 0.85 per cent per month and more than 10 per cent a year.
The rate is set to be equivalent to 130 per cent of the rate offered to poor households.
Under the standards set for the period 2011-15, near-poor households include those with a monthly income of VND401,000 - VND 520,000 (US$19 - $25) in rural areas and VND501,000- VND650,000 ($24 - $31) in urban areas.
Those who have the lower income are designated as poor households.
The decision also asks the Viet Nam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP), which is channeling the loans, to make plans to ensure annual capital for the preferential loans.
"The need for preferential loans for near-poor households is no different to the need for these loans for poor household," said VBSP's deputy general director, Nguyen Van Ly.
"However, we could not meet this demand in previous years due to difficulties in the economy so only poor households got the loans," he added.
The VBSP started to provide preferential loans to poor households in 2009.
"The new policy will help near-poor households to have capital to invest in business and production to improve their family finances, and prevent them from falling back into poverty again," Ly said.
The new policy will take effect from April 16, 2013. — VNS