Farmers want debts shifted

Farmers want debts shifted

The Indebted Farmers' Network yesterday called for a debt transfer from state banks to the Farmers Reconstruction and Development Fund (FRDF).

The network, consisting of farmers from 36 provinces in the North, Northeast and Central parts of Thailand, travelled to Bangkok on Jan 24, settling in front of the Ministry of Finance and the UN Headquarters.

The Farmers' Debt Association of Thailand filed a list of over 30,000 names supporting their request to transfer non-performing loans (NPLs) to the FRDF from four state banks -- the Government Savings Bank, Government Housing Bank, Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, and the SME Development Bank.

In 2021, the FRDF issued a resolution to help insolvent farmers, but the process was suspended in April 2021, leaving many with rapidly accruing debts and no means to keep up with payments.

Charin Duangdara, an adviser to the group, said that after 10 months no progress has been made.

Many of those who had property or assets stripped have been protesting in Bangkok for over a month already but have yet to receive an official government response.

"It is better than having the NPLs in state banks because the interest keeps increasing," said Mr Charin.

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