GSB sees soft loans of B150bn taken out within two months

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State-owned Government Savings Bank (GSB) expects the bank’s sponsored 150 billion baht in soft loans, part of efforts to help small businesses hurt by the Covid-19 outbreak, to be taken out within two months.

Based on previous soft-loan schemes, the entire amount should be doled out within two months, said Chatchai Payuhanaveechai, GSB president and chief executive. Based on previous soft-loan schemes, the entire amount should be doled out within two months, said Chatchai Payuhanaveechai, GSB president and chief executive.

The soft loans are part of the government’s 400 billion baht in relief measures for the first phase. Under the scheme, GSB will lend to commercial banks at a 0.01% rate, with those banks lending at up to 2% per year for two years. Each borrower can take out a loan of no more than 20 million baht. Of the total 150 billion baht in lending, 135 billion baht will be lent via 20 banks and 15 billion baht will be directly extended by the GSB to borrowers at the same rate of 2%.

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said the government’s measures to allow business operators to delay payments for corporate income tax, value-added tax, excise tax and specific business tax, as well as temporarily waive import duties for products used for virus protection and treatment, will help operators keep 200 billion baht worth of money on hand. For the 5,000-baht cash giveaway to 3 million temporary employees, contract employees and self-employed individuals, the government allocated 50 billion baht from the central budget to fund the cash handout.

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