Fishing boats under construction (Photo: VNA)

Kien Giang (VNA) – The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang has put into operation 13 vessels upgraded and built with preferential loans under Decree 67/2014/ND-CP on fisheries development policies since it was issued over two years ago.

The ships comprise 12 fishing boats and one providing fishery logistics services.

Director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Van Tam said the provincial People’s Committee has approved eligible applications for credit to repair and build 58 fishing boats. Total investment for the ships amounted to 493.5 billion VND (22.2 million USD), over 347 billion VND (15.6 million USD) of which are to be funded by banks’ loans.

Local commercial banks have signed contracts to provide more than 121 billion VND (5.4 million USD) for the building and upgrading of 19 vessels. Nearly 100 billion VND (4.5 million USD) of that sum has been disbursed, according to Tam.

He said the implementation of credit contracts for fishing boat building and upgrading under Decree 67 is too slow, noting that trawling, which is popular among local fishermen, is not among fishing practices subject to loan assistance under the decree.

In November 2015, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also ordered the suspension of building and upgrading trawling boats.

Hence, many fishermen are reluctant to get bank loans although their boat building and upgrade plans have been approved by local authorities.

He said his department has suggested the provincial People’s Committee invalidate applications of those who delay signing loan contracts and allocate assistance to other fishermen who have real need for capital.

Decree 67, taking effect in August 2014, provides a full, systematic and synchronous set of basic policies to encourage fishermen build high-capacity, iron-covered ships capable of fishing offshore, a practice that could earn fishermen higher incomes, and at the same time contribute to protecting the country’s territorial waters.-VNA