Village Funds to each receive B200,000

Village Funds to each receive B200,000

The National Village and Urban Community Fund Office is set to allocate 200,000 baht each to 10,000 qualified Village Funds next month.

The budget is part of the government's 144 billion baht in stimulus measures approved by the cabinet on Nov 26 last year.

These measures aim to strengthen the grassroots economy and upgrade the village infrastructure.

A total of 71,742 villages under the National Village and Community Fund are to receive up to 200,000 baht each.

The grant is to encourage infrastructure investment and create jobs in small communities, such as the construction of rice barns, community rice mills and fertiliser plants.

Another measure involves a one-year moratorium on principal payment for members of the National Village and Community Fund.

Another project is the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives' 50-billion-baht loan scheme with an annual interest rate of 0.01% for three years.

The loan will be extended to members of the National Village and Community Fund, community entrepreneurs, agricultural cooperatives and farmers, among others.

Rakpong Sengcharoen, head of the National Village and Urban Community Office, yesterday reported on progress of Village Fund-related measures to Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak.

He said 10,000 Village Funds have applied for financial aid under the measures worth 2 billion baht. The subcommittee is scheduled to meet today to approve those projects.

"Mr Somkid advised the office to convince other Village Funds to apply for the budget," said Mr Rakpong. "The government requires them to submit proposals by May, or the remaining budget will be transferred to sponsor other purposes."

He said many Village Fund members were reluctant to organise meetings to consider the proposals for fear of the coronavirus.

The office has allowed each Village Fund committee to have full authority to sign letters to approve their proposals instead.

As much as 99 billion baht is estimated to be channelled to Village Funds this year as the government wants to beef up the local economy.

The figures include 14 billion baht for projects and 75 billion in debt suspension for members of the National Village and Community Fund.

There are now 79,598 Village and Urban Funds with 368 billion baht in revolving funds.

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