BANGKOK, 8 August 2012 – Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong has stated that the government’s rice pledging scheme is incurring less loss than the price guarantee program of the previous government. He has also assured that the government is committed to maintaining the scheme.
Mr. Kittiratt has revealed that the government will forge ahead with its rice pledging Scheme” to enable Thai farmers to earn more income and improve their well-being, even though the scheme has incurred loss, the amount of which is yet to be specified. However, the loss in the pledging scheme” is far less than that incurred in the previous government’s price guarantee program,” which posted a heavy loss of 50 billion baht during its two years in implementation. Moreover, the price guarantee project also lowered the prices of farmers’ rice, whereas the rice pledging scheme allows rice prices to move according to market mechanism. The pledging scheme gives farmers 15,000 baht per ton for paddy with the level of moisture within the standard limit.
As for the Opposition’s claim that the pledging scheme is rife with corruption, Mr. Kittiratt said the issue is now under investigation by the police and the Department of Special Investigation, or DSI. He also urged all the people to report officials’ suspicion action to authorities.