Rubber panel seeks Bt30 billion to stabilise price

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BANGKOK, Sept 13 — Thailand’s Natural Rubber Policy Committee on Thursday moved to ask the Cabinet next week to approve a Bt30 billion budget to prevent price fluctuations and stabilise the industry. 

Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Nattawut Saikua said the meeting of the rubber committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong agreed to short term measures to shore up falling rubber prices with the special budget.

It will be proposed to the Cabinet for approval next week, he said, adding that it would be withdrawn in Bt5 billion increments.

Mr Nattawut said that the meeting also approved low-interest rate loans for private sector rubber exporters to offer them liquidity to buy rubber and stock it to influence the market price.

As for long-term measures, Mr Nattawut said the ministry was assigned to study a project for building roads from rubber. The study would include the amount of the rubber to be used and the distance of the road.

Foreign diplomats, the private sector and investors would be invited to observe construction of the rubber road, he added.

The other measures in the feasibility study included the use of rubber for making railway sleepers, said the minister.