Growers oppose plan to control rubberwood

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BANGKOK, Jan 12 — Thailand’s rubber growers have asked Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in his capacity as the chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to stop the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) from amending a forest plantation law to control rubberwood, also known as parawood.

Sunthorn Rakrong, leader of the country’s rubber growers’ networks, filed the demand today to oppose the legal amendment.

He said that the NLA would include rubberwood in a list of woods protected by the forest plantation law.

He said that farmers were not required to seek prior approval before felling their rubber trees and transporting their rubberwood and that was already good. If the law was amended to control rubberwood that way, it would compound the hardships of rubber growers when low rubber prices troubled them, Mr Sunthorn said.

The amendment would also allow corrupt authorities to extort money from rubber growers, he complained.

Mr Sunthorn urged Gen Prayut to exercise his power as the NCPO chief to scrap the forest plantation act in order to immediately stop the NLA from amending the law. He threatened that if the amendment continued, rubber growers would rally at provincial halls.

He also called on the prime minister to discuss problems of rubber growers directly with the people.