PDRC urges govt to take responsibility for rice scheme problems


BANGKOK, Feb 9— Thailand’s anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) movement has called on the caretaker government to take responsibility for  the ongoing overdue rice payments under the rice pledging programme, adding that the PDRC will march again tomorrow to raise funds for disgruntled farmers.‎

PDRC spokesman Akanat Promphan on Sunday demanded the caretaker government and prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra be held responsible for the delayed rice payments, urging the caretaker government stop threatening the protesting farmers.

Mr Akanat also asked the caretaker government not to accuse the protesting farmers of being fake farmers and urged the caretaker government to stop placing blame for the failed rice pledging scheme on other agencies such as the PDRC and state-run banks.

Regarding the planned fundraising event on Friday (Feb 7), the PDRC spokesman said that the total donations collected was valued at some Bt9.2 million.

The donated money has been divided into two portions. One is for farmers to take legal action related to the rice payments. The other part is a fund for transportation and food costs to support farmers who want to stage rallies.

A committee would be set up to manage the fund, Mr Akanat said, adding that the PDRC will march again on Monday to raise funds for the farmers.

In a related development, protesting farmers from several provinces continued staging rallies in front of the commerce ministry to pressure the caretaker government for rice payments.

The protesting farmers will rally at the justice ministry on Monday to submit a petition against the caretaker government regarding the payment delay and then will move on to the Office of the Defence Permanent Secretary in Muang Thong Thani, to demand the caretaker premier and related ministers pay what is owed for their crops under the scheme.