Govt calls on financial institutions to provide loans for overdue rice payments

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BANGKOK, 16 February 2014  The government has urged financial institutions to quickly consider lending to the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BACC) which is responsible to pay farmers in the rice subsidy scheme. The BACC labor union has meanwhile threatened to demonstrate against inter-bank loans to finance the troublesome program. 

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Warathep Rattanakorn asked financial institutions to sympathize with the farmers who had not yet received payments from the rice support program by issuing loans to the BACC. He said loans were needed since it took time to receive proceeds from the distribution of rice from the government’s warehouses. Mr Warathep also confirmed all of the rice farmers would be paid and called on anti-government protesters not to obstruct the loans.

The state-run Government Savings Bank last week approved an inter-bank loan to the BAAC whose labor union is protesting against it.