Yingluck promises rice payments ‘next week’

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rice farmers ThailandLong-overdue government subsidy payments to farmers under the rice-pledging scheme will begin next week, Thaialnd’s caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said on February 13, The Nation reported. Yingluck said details about the amounts to be paid would be revealed “later”.

Speaking at the office of the Permanent Secretary for Defense, her interim office, she said the Finance Ministry and relevant agencies had informed her the payments would be made. The government owes about 130 billion baht ($4 billion) to farmers, who have reacted angrily to the payment delay and are traveling to Bangkok to protest. There have been a number of loans totaling millions of baht made available previously from several resources, including small and medium-enterprise banks, while other loans have been granted to millers.

Yingluck said the government’s ability to pay farmers was the result of the Finance Ministry’s efforts, and not the result of loans from financial institutions.

Deputy Finance Minister Benja Louichareon said the money – the amount was not specified – had been borrowed partly from the state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC). She added that the loan was secured under a cabinet approval, dated September 23, 2013, and the Finance Ministry had provided financial resources to guarantee it.

A group of 50 farmers has launched a class action against and five former and current ministers, the BAAC, the Commerce Ministry and the state-owned Public Warehouse Organisation demanding more than Bt19 million in damages for non-payment subsidies under a scheme initiated by the Pheu Thai-led government. A lawyer representing the farmers, Rat Netiwan, said another 100-plus farmers would join the action by Monday and file civil lawsuits against those responsible.

Meanwhile, a large number of farmers from 20 northeastern provinces are planning to gather at Lam Takhong Dam in Nakhon Ratchasima and head to Bangkok to protest outside the Finance Ministry. A protest leader, Praphas Chomparkkliang, said Northeast-based farmers would not take aid money offered by the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee because they did not want to be dragged into the political war.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Long-overdue government subsidy payments to farmers under the rice-pledging scheme will begin next week, Thaialnd’s caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said on February 13, The Nation reported. Yingluck said details about the amounts to be paid would be revealed “later”.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

rice farmers ThailandLong-overdue government subsidy payments to farmers under the rice-pledging scheme will begin next week, Thaialnd’s caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said on February 13, The Nation reported. Yingluck said details about the amounts to be paid would be revealed “later”.

Speaking at the office of the Permanent Secretary for Defense, her interim office, she said the Finance Ministry and relevant agencies had informed her the payments would be made. The government owes about 130 billion baht ($4 billion) to farmers, who have reacted angrily to the payment delay and are traveling to Bangkok to protest. There have been a number of loans totaling millions of baht made available previously from several resources, including small and medium-enterprise banks, while other loans have been granted to millers.

Yingluck said the government’s ability to pay farmers was the result of the Finance Ministry’s efforts, and not the result of loans from financial institutions.

Deputy Finance Minister Benja Louichareon said the money – the amount was not specified – had been borrowed partly from the state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC). She added that the loan was secured under a cabinet approval, dated September 23, 2013, and the Finance Ministry had provided financial resources to guarantee it.

A group of 50 farmers has launched a class action against and five former and current ministers, the BAAC, the Commerce Ministry and the state-owned Public Warehouse Organisation demanding more than Bt19 million in damages for non-payment subsidies under a scheme initiated by the Pheu Thai-led government. A lawyer representing the farmers, Rat Netiwan, said another 100-plus farmers would join the action by Monday and file civil lawsuits against those responsible.

Meanwhile, a large number of farmers from 20 northeastern provinces are planning to gather at Lam Takhong Dam in Nakhon Ratchasima and head to Bangkok to protest outside the Finance Ministry. A protest leader, Praphas Chomparkkliang, said Northeast-based farmers would not take aid money offered by the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee because they did not want to be dragged into the political war.

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