Govt’s rice pledging scheme to remain untouched

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BANGKOK, March 1 – Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong today allayed concerns among farmers nationwide on the government’s rice subsidy, reaffirming that the pledging price of Bt15,000 per tonne of rice will be left intact.

There have been widespread reports that the rice price pledged by the government will be reduced to Bt13,000 per tonne.

“Commerce Minister Boonsong (Teriyapirom) has already denied the reports. I respect his statement,” said the deputy premier and finance minister.

The National Rice Policy Committee was earlier scheduled to meet today but postponed it to mid-month to enable the Commerce Ministry to collect additional data on rice production and costs for the committee’s deliberations.

Mr Kittiratt said the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives released Bt40 billion for the pledging scheme and should get the money back within the deadline.