The rice pledging scheme time frame cannot be extended after its last day on Friday as this would be in violation of the charter, according to the Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan.
The minister, also confirmed that the government has received an official reply from the Election Commission approving the use of 712 million baht from the central budget to pay rice farmers who still have not received their money for the 2012/2013 production season; the farmers were supposed to have been paid in September. He said that over the next week, this group of 3,900 rice growers in five provinces will receive their money in full.
Regarding the government’s request for the EC to approve the use of 20 billion baht from the central budget to pay rice growers who were still waiting for their money under the rice pledging scheme, Mr. Niwatthamrong said the initiative was not considered a new debt burden for the government, as the money would be temporarily borrowed from the budget while the Finance Ministry procured loans.
He added that the rice pledging period for the 2013/2014 season can”t be extended because according to Article 181 of the charter, the interim government cannot create new debt burdens for an incoming administration.