Loans from the HCM City-based Vietnam Bank for Social Policies have helped people affected by COVID-19 overcome financial difficulties. — VNA/VNS Photo Trần Việt
HCM CITY — Loans from HCM City-based Vietnam Bank for Social Policies have provided capital to poor people and small businesses with financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bùi Thị Mai of Tân Phú District, for example, said sales at her grocery store were affected during the social distancing period.
When the period ended, Mai wanted to sell more items at her grocery, but she did not have enough money. So she decided to apply for a loan of VNĐ100 million (US$4,294) from the HCM City-based Vietnam Bank for Social Policies. She also sews clothing at her house.
Previously, the bank had provided her a loan, which she had paid back on the due date.
“Luckily, the State has a programme on such loans to assist families with financial difficulties to do their business. My family does not meet criteria that other banks require to provide loans. For instance, we do not have any assets that can be used as security for loans. The HCM City-based Vietnam Bank for Social Policies does not have the asset requirement,” Mai said.
HCM City resident Nguyễn Phương Hải of District 12 also borrowed VNĐ100 million to expand her apricot garden. Hải said that he has been able to pay the debt each month because the interest rate is low.
The income from the apricot garden has reached hundreds of millions đồng each year, leading to a stable life for his family, Hải said.
As many as 142,784 people received loans from January to May from the bank.
Lê Thành Hiếu, chairman of the Farmers’ Association in District 12’s Thạnh Lộc Ward, said that the loans from the bank had created conditions for many farmers to improve their life and income.
After loans are provided to farmers, the association’s staff meets them twice a year to ensure that they use the loans for the right purpose, Hiếu said.
Trần Văn Tiên, director of HCM City-based Vietnam Bank for Social Policies, said the credit programme is known by many people, including poor people and those with financial difficulties in their business, thanks to the participation of many State organisations.
The bank has asked city authorities to allocate more capital from its budget to help it create more loans for addressing unemployment and sustainable poverty reduction, Tiên said, adding that the shortage of capital for loans is one of the bank’s challenges.
The HCM City People’s Committee has instructed the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies to use the Employment Creation Fund, which was allocated an additional VNĐ400 billion from the city budget, to provide loans for the poor and those whose business was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bank’s branches in city districts have also been required to disburse capital from the Fund for Poverty Reduction to ensure that all people who meet loan conditions have access to the money. — VNS