In-depth
Quang Tri fishermen to be sued for bad debts
  • | vov, dtinews.vn | September 13, 2019 01:30 PM
The Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV)'s Quang Tri Provincial branch is intending to sue 10 fish boat owners who have failed to repay their debts, while the fishermen said they have faced many difficulties and needed support.

  

Fishermen to be sued because of bad debts

The fishermen took bank loans to build boats based on government policy outlined in Resolution 67 supporting policies to boost the fisheries industry. By mid-2019, BIDV lent VND178bn (USD7.7m) to the fishermen, VND144bn of which became bad debts.

The bank said they had worked with the fishermen many times because of unpaid debts in the past two years had badly affected their credit quality and performance. They are preparing to sue the fishermen.

Ho Sy Trong, director of the State Bank of Vietnam in Quang Tri, said according to Resolution 67, the fishermen could enjoy a lending interest rate of 1% a year. The repayment period was also raised from 11 to 16 years to be more suitable for fishing work.

"I hope the fishermen will work hard and save money to repay their debts. The debts that are not paid in time will not be allowed to benefit from interest rate incentives," Trong said.

He went on to say that if the fishermen who kept delaying repayments would be punished and their boats may be sold.

However, the fishermen said they wanted to repay their debts but they had faced many difficulties like bad weather, lower outputs, and decreased revenue which meant they did not have enough to offset the cost of their trawling expeditions to find new fishing spots. Ho Van Hoan, a fisherman in Trung Giang Commune, said if the bank sued them and took their boats, they would lose the only means to go to sea and earn money to repay debts.

"It's illegal if we ignore our responsibility for our debts. But we’re facing too many problems. I hope the authorities will work with the bank to help us," he said.

In 2016 and 2017, many fishermen in Quang Tri had been lent money to build boats. 25 new boats were built, 118 boats were upgraded and the banks lent out over VND431bn (USD18.6m). But the outcome has not been as positive as expected as fishermen face losses and the banks face bad debts.

Ha Sy Dong, vice chairman of Quang Tri Province People's Committee, said, "There are no banks claiming the fishermen are avoiding their repayments. There are already regulations about writing off debts, freezing the amount, and even debt reduction. If there is any problem, both parties can follow these regulations."

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