Thailand approves 5-billion-baht soft-loan package to create jobs

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Thailand approves 5-billion-baht soft-loan package to create jobs

The cabinet has given the go-ahead for a soft-loan package worth 5 billion baht (US$150 million) to help create jobs for the unemployed.

The loan package – to be extended by state-owned Government Savings Bank (GSB) – will be offered mainly to business starters and small-scale business operators such as masons, air-conditioner repair providers, electricians, and beauty shops; small-scale operators who have distribution locations such as wholesalers, retailers, and franchisees; and public vehicle drivers of vehicles such as taxis, taxi vans and truck services.

“This lending facility will help those people and business operators to have the initial capital to do business or aid their financial liquidity to be able to continue their business and reduce their reliance on loan sharks or informal lenders,” said government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.

The five-year lending scheme, having an interest rate of 3.99% per annum, will run until September 30 next year, offering not more than 300,000 baht (US$8,988) per borrower. A grace period for principal and interest will be offered for the first six repayments.

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In addition, the cabinet has also approved 1.5 billion baht (US$44.9 million) to subsidise non-performing loans under this programme. To qualify for a loan, borrowers must take part in career training courses offered by the GSB, according to Bangkok Post.