NCPO orders banks to give soft loans to rubber buyers

NCPO orders banks to give soft loans to rubber buyers

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and the government will instruct the Government Savings Bank and Krung Thai Bank to provide business operators with soft loans worth 25 billion baht to buy natural rubber from farmers.

The resolution came after a meeting between the NCPO's strategic committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon and five major rubber processing operators to find ways to boost rubber prices.

The current rubber sheet price now ranges from 58-62 baht per kilogramme depending on the quality.

Gen Prawit, who is also NCPO deputy chief, said the business operators have agreed to buy natural rubber from farmers at 80 baht/kg as requested by the farmers under the loan support scheme offered by the two state-run banks.

He said he could not say exactly when businesses would start buying rubber at that price, but he wanted the scheme to start as soon as possible.

"I can confirm the 80-baht rubber price can be achieved but the price change needs time," he said.

NCPO spokesman Winthai Suwaree said the NCPO and the government would ask the two state banks to provide the loans with low interest rates to business operators for two purposes — capacity expansion and acquiring natural rubber.

He said the Government Savings Bank will lend mainly to firms so they can expand their manufacturing capacity while Krung Thai Bank will focus on rubber purchases.

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