Feb 11, 2014

Thailand government struggled to find money to pay rice farmers

For several months, the Yingluck Shinawatra government has not been able to obtain 130 billion Baht to pay farmers in the rice pledging project, even before the dissolution of the House of Representatives.  Many banks have declined to give loan to the government, considering it as too risky. Meanwhile, the caretaking government can not commit any financial obligation that might be a burden to the next government, and the election process has not been completed due to boycotting by a number people. Many rice farmers now are highly indebted and unable to solve their proplems. While some of them are organizing protests in several provinces, a few have committed suicide.

A senate's finance committee advisor said that there is no way that the acting government can help farmers now while maintaining financial discipline, because it has been destroyed since the government decided to pledge to rice grain at 15,000 Baht / tonne.

A former Finance Minister from Phuea Thai Party said that no fanancial trick can be done that will not violate the constitution so the government should try to get the rice grain out of storage and sell to raise cash and try to negotiate with the protesters so the election process can be completed as quickly as possible. Some people blamed the problem on a corrupted policy.

Additional info: The project, a brainchild of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, has costed estimated loss to the government from 200-400 billion Baht.

Ref: Thai PBS

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