Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
 
Gia Lai (VNA) – A conference was held in Pleiku city, the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai, on March 8 to launch tasks towards expanding credit for production and consumption, thus limiting loan sharking.

Suggested measures include refining the legal framework to boost consumption lending among commercial banks, issuing new credit policies for households that have recently escaped poverty, and limiting such households’ access to loan sharks, thus meeting the demand for local socio-economic development and consumption.

The banking sector will continue working closely with ministries, agencies, localities, and socio-political organisations to raise public awareness of Party and State’s guidelines and regulations on credit supply.

Several opinions held that despite crackdowns, loan sharking is persistent in poor and ethnic minority areas. They suggested cutting lending requirements and handing out stricter punishments for loan sharks.

Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Duong Van Trang said that due to limited awareness, people of ethnic minorities here have become victims of loan sharking, resulting in home and land loss. Therefore, banking credit supply is important, especially from the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP).

He suggested issuing bilingual guidelines to raise public awareness of banking credit.

Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) Le Minh Hung said that in the near future, the SBV will submit a comprehensive financial strategy to the Government and the PM to facilitate public access of financial resources, especially those in remote, mountainous, and ethnic minority areas.

He asked banks to promptly refine Circular No.39 and No.43 to closely control activities of financial companies and encourage credit organisations to expand their networks in remote and mountainous areas.

The VBSP was required to increase lending and consider the extension of debt payments in necessary cases.

As of the late December 2018, the country’s outstanding loans surpassed 7.2 trillion VND (313 million USD), up 13.93 percent. Of this, loans for rural development hit 1.78 trillion VND, up 21.4 percent. In the Central Highlands alone, deposits increased by 9 percent to nearly 150 trillion VND, meeting 45.56 percent of demand. –VNA