Finance Ministry assures farmers overdue payments will be made


BANGKOK, Feb 7 – The Finance Ministry has prepared a plan to secure loans for Bt130 billion overdue payments to farmers from the rice pledging scheme but it would be kept confidential, a senior ministry official said today.

Rangsan Srivorasart, Permanent Secretary for Finance, said he would not disclose the plan for fear of obstruction by political opponents, adding that all commercial banks sympathised with the farmers and would be willing to assist, but without affecting their businesses.

There are several options in finding financial sources including borrowing through normal channels, he said, adding that it was rather impossible for commercial banks to offer a double-digit interest for loans as widely reported.

The Finance Ministry complex was reopened under tight security this morning after being blockaded by anti-government protesters since Jan 13.

Mr Rangsan said the closure has delayed the ministry’s services, especially tax refunds to the public, but budget reimbursements at less than Bt1 billion were not disrupted.


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