Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses the conference (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has hailed credit for implementing social policies as a sound policy of the Party and State that contributes to social development and creates a momentum for sustainable poverty reduction.  

The PM made the remark on October 16 when chairing a teleconference with leaders of 63 localities nationwide to review 15 years of implementing credit policies for the poor through the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP).

He expressed his pleasure with the efficiency of 20 credit programmes that the VBSP is running, helping nearly 7 million poor households and other needy groups access loans.

He held that current organisation of the bank is suitable to Vietnam’s conditions. The bank has 11,000 transaction points across the country, along with 200,000 saving groups in all rural villages and communes, including those in remote and mountainous areas.

Noting that Vietnam still has 1.9 million poor households and 1.3 million others living close to the poverty line, the Government leader asked policy credit officials to try to grasp the poor’s expectations and demands, thus better serving them.

He also urged the bank to promote the application of advanced technologies and diversify their products and services in order to create optimal conditions for customers to access preferential loans.

The PM asked ministries and localities to propose measures to strengthen resources for social policy credit.

“In the Government’s perspective, investing in the VBSP and the poor means investing in development”, stated he.

He also called for the engagement of organisations, individuals, businesses and the whole community in contributing capital to the bank, thus joining hands to improve the poor’s living conditions.

The VBSP reported that since its establishment in 2002, the bank has provided loans to over 31.8 million poor households and policy beneficiaries.

The funds helped nearly 4.5 million households escape from poverty, about 3.4 million labourers have jobs and 3.5 million students cover their study.

Capital from the bank has been used to build 9.9 million rural water supply and sanitation works, nearly 633,000 houses for the needy and over 11,000 storm shelters in the central region.

As of September 30, the VBSP’s total outstanding balance was 169 trillion VND (7.43 billion USD), 24 times higher than that in 2002, with growth of 19.2 percent each year.

Thanks to credits, poverty ratio dropped to 4.25 percent in 2015 from 22 percent in 2005.

The bank’s capital by the end of September was 179 trillion VND (7.87 billion USD), 25 times higher than that in 2002, 15.6 percent of which was from the State budget.

Its overdue and charged-off debts fell to only 0.81 percent as of September 30.

At the conference, the PM presented the VBSP with the Labour Medal, first class, in recognition of its outstanding performance. Twenty collectives and nine individuals with excellent contributions to the disbursement of social policy credit were also honoured at the event.-VNA