The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) has sent a document to commercial banks asking them to extend loans to food companies to enable them to stockpile paddy/rice.

The central bank asked the banks to follow the production and performance of rice export companies.

If exporters faced difficulties, the banks should carefully consider restructuring loans.

The SBV also asked the banks to supervise the companies' use of capital to prevent them from taking advantage of the programme to delay payments.

Under a Government programme, the banks have provided the companies interest-free credit to buy 1 million tonnes of rice from the winter-spring crop.

The Government is fully subsidising the interest on the loans for three months.

Support from the banks has kept rice prices stable in 2012-13, and the Government's policy to buy rice reserves has also supported the price and helped farmers.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said it would establish a team to carry out check-ups and supervision on the rice/paddy reserves.

The ministry will cooperate with the Ministries of Finance and Industry and Trade, the SBV, the Vietnam Food Association and provincial people’s committees to check the quantity of rice reserves.

The team will also look at preferential loans and disbursement of commercial banks.-VNA