Yingluck promises help for rice farmers

The caretaker government is working hard to help rice farmers suffering as a result of delayed rice-pledging payments, caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said on Thursday.

In a message posted on her Facebook page, Ms Yingluck said she had directed the ministries of finance and commerce to secure funds to quickly pay farmers who have still not been paid for rice pledged under the scheme last year.

Because of its caretaker position, the government has limited authority to handle the situation because the law prohibits it from making any deal that could create a debt burden on the new administration, she said.

The caretaker premier insisted that her government recognised the importance of rice farmers and said the rice-pledging policy was implemented with the aim of improving their income, stimulating the economy at grass-roots level and reducing social inequality.

Many foreign governments also have similar policies to subsidise their countries’ main crops and improve living standards of farmers, she said.

However, the country is now in a special situation, said Ms Yingluck, since government had to dissolve the House of Representatives due to ongoing political turbulence.

The House dissolution limits the legal authority of the caretaker government to push ahead with its policies, including the rice scheme, she said.

“Relevant state agencies have been trying hard to resolve problems of affected rice farmers," she said.

“The Ministry of Finance is trying to acquire loans from financial institutions and the Ministry of Commerce is in a process of releasing rice in stockpiles to generate funds to make the rice payments."

Meanwhile, rice growers from the West, Central Plains and lower part of the North are rallying in front of the Ministry of Commerce to pressure the caretaker government to make overdue rice payments immediately, led by chairman of the Thai Farmers Association Prasit Boonchoey.

People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) protesters from Nonthaburi and the Network of Students and People for Thailand's Reform (NSPTR) are also taking part in the farmers’ rally at the ministry.

Mr Prasit said rice farmers have not yet been paid for rice pledged more than six months ago and need the payments as soon as possible - regardless of where the money comes from.

Farmers’ co-leaders want talks with the caretaker commerce minister and his permanent secretary to jointly find a way to resolve the problem, he said.

Nonthaburi police were deployed inside the Ministry of Commerce building compound and nearby areas to maintain law and order.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 12/02/2014 at 02:41 AM
Amazing!
Discussion 2 : 07/02/2014 at 11:23 AM
Merely repeating her "pledges" of help will achieve nothing now. The scheme is ow seen clearly for what it was - a scam, where the poorer in society suffered again
Discussion 3 : 06/02/2014 at 08:53 PM
how to package lots of untruthes on a facebook page? just ask PT/Yingluck for advice.
Discussion 4 : 06/02/2014 at 07:22 PM
Maybe she can ask her big brother for a loan at an exhorbitant rate of interest to be paid by the people of Thailand. It was his plan and implemented under his direction and supervision and I am certain it was him that told her to dissolve the parliament before passing the necessary legislation to allow the provisional government the right to borrow the money legally to pay the poor farmers.
Discussion 5 : 06/02/2014 at 07:07 PM
genii why didn't budget the money before they dissolved the parliament.Remember the saying proper planning prevents piss poor performance. They have the only themselves to blame for this fiasco.
Discussion 6 : 06/02/2014 at 06:46 PM
I wunder how many farmer have facebook account?
Discussion 7 : 06/02/2014 at 06:44 PM
"regardless of where the money comes from". Says it all really
Discussion 8 : 06/02/2014 at 06:35 PM
amusing..
Discussion 9 : 06/02/2014 at 06:28 PM
Didn't we just know the protesters would get the blame...?
Discussion 10 : 06/02/2014 at 06:23 PM
Mistake. In Europe during tens of years tax-payer's money has been used to restructure the agro-economy. Yes, paying farmers above the market price albeit in the form of direct subsidies, paid for by tax-payers. In my country I had a good income and it is fully accepted by me and my fellow well-ofs that my (high) taxes are used to help poorer people, people not able to work, elderly etc. Thailand simply did not get there yet. People around me here love Thaksin, even being a crook, because he introduced badly needed social measures which were introduced in other countries long time ago. NB> Rice scheme corruption-sensitive, better subsidies.
Discussion 11 : 06/02/2014 at 06:20 PM
tell your family and friends to return the money, then you can pay the farmers
Discussion 12 : 06/02/2014 at 06:15 PM
I bet Yingluk and her cronies get paid regularly every month! don't have to wait 6+months for their money. The farmers have expences every month,it's called living, and unlike Yingluk & co I bet Yingluk & co get their pay regularly every month! They wouldn't graft away and wait over 6 months for their money. Farmers have expences, it's called living, but unlike Yingluk and co they do not have an expense account available paid for them by your taxes
Discussion 13 : 06/02/2014 at 06:11 PM
one sure thing, lies never drive you to a better situation!
Discussion 14 : 06/02/2014 at 06:08 PM
Lies, damn lies and statistics...more promises, more excuses and again blaming non-payment on the current situation. Has she learnt nothing? Or does she think if she says keeps saying the country will believe her? Hey, and here's an idea...why not address the public on TV and not keep hiding behind her Facebook account like some deceitful teenager! from Playbook application.
Discussion 15 : 06/02/2014 at 06:08 PM
Lies, damn lies and statistics...more promises, more excuses and again blaming non-payment on the current situation. Has she learnt nothing? Or does she think if she says keeps saying the country will believe her? Hey, and here's an idea...why not address the public on TV and not keep hiding behind her Facebook account like some deceitful teenager! from Playbook application.
Discussion 16 : 06/02/2014 at 06:04 PM
Farmers didn't get any BEFORE the house was desolved so she can't blame that can she?
Discussion 17 : 06/02/2014 at 06:01 PM
And there are those who are doing everything they can to insure the election will not happen or be voided in an effort to prevent the government from obtaining funds such as this to make payments to the public. They then will cry foul and a dysfunctional government placing the blame on the PT administration which has no control until offically declared the new administration. The farmers need to look at the law and chase those whom have control of the money.
Discussion 18 : 06/02/2014 at 05:58 PM
Waow, the PM makes official declarations on her facebook page ? What a dazzling professional she is ! "Many foreign governments also have similar policies to subsidise their countries’ main crops and improve living standards of farmers, she said." Yes but not ill thought payments above market price. Stupid or stubborn, that is the question.
Discussion 19 : 06/02/2014 at 05:47 PM
She only told one lie,.....she's improving! "...since government had to dissolve the House of Representatives due to ongoing political turbulence..." Not true. She voluntarily dissolved the house.
Discussion 20 : 06/02/2014 at 05:41 PM
Excuses, the farmers were supposed to be paid 6 months ago. Parliament was only dissolved a month ago. Typical behaviour always someone else's fault.
Discussion 21 : 06/02/2014 at 05:31 PM
Message on Facebook? They are on the streets of Bangkok, waiting to talk face to face with you
Discussion 22 : 06/02/2014 at 05:24 PM
As usual it is just more lies. There is not a country in the world that has done anything as stupid and corrupt as the Rice Scheme. Real governments are transparent, do not claim national security as an excuse to cover corruption and lack of ability to actually handle a program. PT you are all "Mickey Mouse" and you are killing this country.
Discussion 23 : 06/02/2014 at 05:12 PM
Haven't we heard these promises before? What is different now? My children tell more convincing fibs than Yinluck.
Discussion 24 : 06/02/2014 at 04:42 PM
promise promise promise, we heard it all before. If Yingluck were to run a company as your brother likes to compare running a country with, you would have been fired long ago without severance pay and NO recommendation letter.

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