PM asserts government trying to solve low rubber price problem


BANGKOK, Dec 9 — Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha asserted today that his government was trying to solve the low rubber price problem quickly but not all measures could be implemented at once and it also depended on cooperation from the private sector. 

He said the government had limited money and that external factors affected the rubber price.

Gen Prayut told the press after today’s cabinet meeting that he sent officials to explain the rubber price situation and solutions to concerned people and that three planned measures could not be implemented simultaneously due to disbursement procedures.

The three measures are to let the Co-operatives and Rubber Estate Organisation buy rubber from farmers, the 1,000-baht-per-rai subsidy for rubber farmers, and forming a joint committee to work out sustainable solutions.

The prime minister said that he would try to have the rubber price raised to Bt50-60 per kilogram as soon as possible. Regarding proposals for the government to issue bonds and increase the subsidy, he said that might affect the limited contingency budget of the state.

“Solutions rely on cooperation from the private sector that will buy rubber to raise its price to Bt60 because the government cannot afford to subsidize the price. The government does not have so much money. It is helping both rice and rubber growers at Bt1,000 per rai. It cannot be blamed for failing to help. We must look at both internal and external factors. The rubber price is attached to the oil price and there are impacts on all countries,” the prime minister said.

Gen Prayuth stressed that he would speed up the implementation of the three measures.