Over $24 million disbursed to 11 firms

 The package offers loans to property developers at low interest rates of around 6 per cent per year. However, at the assessment meetings on the adjusted housing laws held on March 6, Ngo Van Minh, a deputy of the NA's Juridical Committee, said that only 9 per cent of the package has been disbursed so far.

"Just where is this package now? If it is not being used then please give it back so we can use it for other purposes," Minh asked members of the Ministry of Construction. He went on to say that the package was meant to support low-income earners, yet many individuals and enterprises cannot get loans because interest rates are high and the loan terms too short. He proposed giving a longer loan terms and lifting the cap on the maximum loan amount.

In response, the Minister of Construction Trinh Dinh Dung, agreed that the terms should be increased from 10 to 15-20 years so customers will be able to make their payments. However, if localities and enterprises do not build low-income housing, he added, the fund would be useless.

"This package was never meant to be divided up as quickly as possible. These loans must also have requirements, and the fund can last for many years, perhaps even until the per capita income of Vietnam reaches $50,000," he said.

As of February 17, 2014, the State Bank of Vietnam agreed to give over VND1.4 trillion ($63 million) loan to 17 enterprises, and disbursed over VND537 billion ($24 million) to 11 firms. On the other hand, VND550 billion ($24.5 million) was loaned to more than 2,000 individuals at an annual interest rate of 5 per cent, which is 1 per cent lower than last year.

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