EC approves B712m to pay farmers

The Election Commission has approved the caretaker government's use of 712 million baht from the Central Fund to pay farmers owed money under the rice pledging programme.

This was announced by commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn on his Facebook page following today's meeting of the Election Commission.

Mr Somchai said the meeting approved a request by the caretaker government after the cabinet agreed it shoud use 712 million baht from the Central Fund to pay 3,971 farmers in Chachoengsao, Phetchabun, Prachin Buri, Uthai Thani and Ayutthaya province for the 2013-2014 crop year.

He wrote that the government might again seek the EC's approval for payments, and each request would be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Caretaker Deputy Commerce Minister Yanyong Puangraj said earlier that Tuesday's meeting of the caretaker cabinet had approved a total 20 billion baht allocation from the Central Fund to finance the rice pledging scheme.

The budget was requested by the National Rice Policy Committee (NRPC) to be used to make long overdue rice payments, he said.

Mr Yanyong said his ministry would seek endorsement from the Election Commission for the expenditure, as required of a caretaker government.

The caretaker government has been struggling to find ways to finance the scheme under which farmers have been delayed payments for their pledged rice for about five months. They are owed more than 100 billion baht.

Attempts to borrow the money from financial institutions were opposed by anti-government protesters and rejected by the banks.

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Discussion 1 : 25/02/2014 at 02:28 PM
robbing peter to pay paul ...comes to mind

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