PM: Govt not broke, will pay farmers

The caretaker government is not broke and will certainly pay the farmers for their pledged rice, caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said on Tuesday.

The caretaker government's fiscal status is sufficient to seek loans from financial institutions, and all farmers with invoices  for pledged rice will definitely get their money, she said.

Ms Yingluck said rice payments were being delayed by legal limitations and processing delays.

All parties,  including the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), should understand the difficulties faced by the unpaid rice farmers and refrain using it as a political issue, she said.

Asked about the alleged corruption in the rice scheme, Ms Yingluck said  the appropriate offices were investigating whether there were any irregularities in the programme.

The caretaker premier said the urgent problem at this time is that the delayed in rice payments  causing hardship for farmers, and its effect on confidence in the country.

She denied as baseless a report by some media that the government does not have money to make the rice payments, and criticism she had refused to meet  the suffering farmers rallying in front of the Ministry of Commerce.

Ms Yingluck said she had directed the relevant ministers to explain to the farmers because they knew all the details of the rice scheme's implementation.

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