Cabinet earmarks added Bt6.6 billion for rice pledging programme

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BANGKOK, Oct 15 – The Cabinet today approved an additional budget of Bt6.66 billion to purchase paddy from farmers in the 2012/2013 crop, a government spokesman said.

Pakdiharn Himathongkam said the allocation was in response to a request by the National Rice Policy Committee which said farmers in several provinces, including Suphan Buri, Ayutthaya, Ang Thong, Chai Nat and Lop Buri, failed to meet the September 15 deadline in selling their paddy under the rice pledging scheme.

Meanwhile, Chalitrat Chandrubeksa, deputy spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office, said the Cabinet agreed to liberalise soybean imports under the World Trade Organisation framework once in three years between 2014 and 2016.

Volumes and timing of the imports will be unlimited with a zero per cent import duty and 80 per cent export duty.

The Thai Biofuels Committee will work out measures on soybean imports on an annual basis, he said.