By The Nation
Hundreds of people queued up at the nearest branch of the Government Savings Bank (GSB) to seek an emergency loan offered as part of the government’s measure to help people who have been affected by the Covid-19 crisis.
The queue at the Pornphet Market branch in Mukdahan province was so long that it spilled onto the street. These applicants had been called in for a face-to-face interview after their online applications were vetted by the bank.
GSB is offering loans of between Bt10,000 and Bt50,000 at low interest rates to self-employed people as well as those holding jobs who have either been laid off or had their salaries cut due to the crisis.
The self-employed group are entitled to a maximum loan of Bt10,000 at an interest rate of 0.1 percent, which can be paid over two years, with no payments required for the first six months. To be eligible, applicants must hold Thai nationality, be at least 20 years of age, be able to provide a residence certificate and contact number.
This loan is applicable to people who earn no more than Bt30,000 per month, such as merchants, vendors, bus drivers, taxi drivers or guides.
Meanwhile, people with fixed incomes can take loans of no more than Bt50,000 at a flat interest of 0.35 percent, which can be repaid over up to three years. This loan requires a guarantor or assets such as property as guarantee. To be eligible, the applicant must be a Thai national, over 20 years of age, have a residence certificate, can be contacted and can prove that the Covid-19 outbreak has affected his or her income.
The government has allocated Bt20 billion for this effort.
(Photos took on May 5)