Commerce Minister: “Rice pledging program effective in improving farmers’ quality of life”

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BANGKOK, 29 May 2013  The Commerce Minister has assured Parliamentarian that the state-initiated rice pledging program is effective in helping improve the quality of life of Thai farmers. 

Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom spoke on Wednesday before the Parliament to defend the government’s rice-pledging scheme after the Opposition claimed that the project has experienced a loss of more than 260 billion baht.

Mr. Boonsong stated that the execution of the rice-pledging program has been transparent and systematic while all details have been made public.

He said that the government has only been in charge of the price and the storage of the pledged paddies, which it can later sell to successful bidders if the pledge becomes expired.

The Commerce Minister argued that the figures, which the Opposition brought up during today’s budget debate at the Parliament, have not been accurately represented.

Mr. Boonsong cited the ministry’s public survey in assuring that the rice pledging has been highly beneficial for farmers, whose quality of life has been improved accordingly.

He affirmed that the project will continue in spite of criticism that the government’s implementation has been intended to help business operators.