Village Funds score upgrade
The government looks set to upgrade all Village Funds, including those categorised as Grade C, under its economic rehabilitation plan.
Rakpong Sengcharoen, chief of the National Village and Urban Community Office, said the agency aims to upgrade 7,000 Grade C Village Funds to Grade A or B, which are considered premium grades for management competency, attractive returns on investment, decent accounting standards and complete information presented in the annual report, as well as perfect care for members.
Grade A and B Village Funds also have the potential to upgrade their own community businesses and community banks, while the Grade C Village Funds over the past several years were ignored by any government support, including new funding, because of their poor management and relatively high bad debt.
Mr Rakpong said the office sought 40 billion baht out of the 400-billion-baht budget the government set aside for economic and social rehabilitation from the government's think tank, the National Economic and Social Development Council.
The budget is in line with a five-pronged community development plan comprising product development, new career creations to boost income, tourism-based communities, transport communities and online communities.
Product development, new career creations to boost income and tourism-based communities will be adapted to match the demand and ability of each community. For transport communities, the office wants to address problems involved with goods and passenger transport by pooling idle vehicles to serve people in the community.
A community transport platform could be developed in the future to collect data on cars used in the scheme.
Mr Rakpong said the office will also hire university students or the unemployed to conduct surveys and data analysis for village development at 79,604 Village Funds nationwide.
This will be the first time Thailand will collect in-depth information on each village other than population figures.