Rice pledging scheme continues despite House dissolution

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BANGKOK, Dec 9 – Dissolution of Thailand’s lower house of parliament will not interrupt the continuity of the rice pledging scheme introduced by the Yingluck Shinawatra administration, according to Internal Trade Department Director General Somchart Soithong.

Mr Somchart said his department would carry on its highly-criticised rice-pledging programme despite concern that the House Dissolution on Monday would affect its continuity. He explained that the Cabinet’s authorised timeframe for 2013-14 harvests would finish in February next year.

The department will leave it to the new government to decide whether or not the country should carry on the second round of the pledging programme.

Mr Somchart said the government bought some six million tonnes of paddy since October 1 and so far Bt 50 billion has been paid to registered farmers. The bank is now seeking to receive more repayments from the Finance Ministry in order to pay all the farmers.

The Commerce Ministry has, meanwhile, expedited distribution of rice in stock to keep the cash flow. (MCOT online news)