Thursday, August 13, 2009

'Strong Thailand' project details on govt website

The Finance Ministry will launch a website, www.tkk.com, to reveal details of investment projects under the "Strong Thailand" economic stimulus package, Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij said yesterday.

The website will be ready for public viewing from August 28 for transparency purposes, he said.

So far, state agencies have submitted projects worth a combined Bt1.06 trillion to be implemented as part of the package.

"From now on, projects will be screened before they win investment [approval] under the package, which will be financed by the annual government budgets and borrowing," he said.

Bidding for the projects is expected to start in September and be completed by October.

Meanwhile, seven state-owned financial institutions will unveil their fast-track lending channels on August 24, under which they promise to approve applications more quickly so they can accomplish this year's ambitious target of lending more than Bt950 billion combined.

After a meeting with the seven banks, Deputy Finance Minister Pradit Pataraprasit said yesterday that most of them had finalised their approaches to boosting lending as required by the Finance Ministry.

"They have come up with different offers on loan limits and approval time frames. Some say they can approve loans within seven days, while other promise to do so in 21 days. They will also be unveiling additional offers on August 24," he said.

Pradit said the institutions believe that their combined lending this year will reach Bt950 billion, from the earlier target of Bt600 billion.

They are also receptive to the ministry's advice that they give special emphasis to more needy applicants like small and medium-sized enterprises, exporters and tourism business operators, he added.

"This is the last government meeting with the banks before the special-lending project is officially launched. Most did not ask for special compensation from the government [for possible losses], except the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank [SME Bank], which wanted compensation for a year's credit insurance fee of 1.75 per cent per annum against total loans worth Bt30 billion," the minister said.

Participants in the project include Krung Thai Bank, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, the Government Savings Bank, the Government Housing Bank, SME Bank and the Export-Import Bank of Thailand.

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