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Fund tasked with restructuring farmers' debt

Jan 25. 2020
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By The Nation

Deputy Prime Minister Jurin Laksanawisit has ordered the Office of the Farmers Rehabilitation and Development Fund to study debt restructuring of 46,000 farmers with a debt of Bt15 billion, deputy spokeswoman Ratchada Thanadirek said after a meeting of the Farmers Rehabilitation and Development Fund Committee on Friday (January 24).

“The committee approved the guidelines to solve the debt problem of farmers who are members of the fund to restore their quality of life and save land for agriculture,” she said. “The guidelines were proposed by three parties -- farmers, bank associations, and the office’s debt management committee.”

She further explained that the office will pay 50 per cent of the principal amount, while the government will pay another 50 per cent of principal including interest and land loss to the creditors. The debtor must prepare a rehabilitation plan and repay the fund later.

“If the committee reaches a conclusion at the next meeting on February 24, the committee will propose to the Cabinet for consideration,” she said. “All debtors owed formal debt and had paid instalments for a long time.”

She added that the committee approved the Farmers Rehabilitation and Development Fund’s annual budget for fiscal year 2020 to solve problems of 2,700 farmers of Bt2.3 billion, divided into a Bt518-million budget for farmers' rehabilitation and development and a Bt1.3-billion budget for farmers' debt management.

“The committee also approved the draft regulation of the Farmers Rehabilitation and Development Fund Committee regarding the rules on the farmers’ collateral assets management which have been sold for repayment (of debt),” she added

“The new regulation will enable the fund to repurchase farmers' collateral assets, which have been sold to repay creditors, whether the creditors are financial institutions or individuals. This approach will solve the problem of farmers who lost their land to repay debt.”

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