THAILAND : Finance says it cannot pay farmers by January 15
Deputy Finance Minister Thanusak Lekuthai said the government has earlier promised to pay rice farmers by January 15 but now could not fulfill the promise to pay all by the time because of disruption by complicated administrative procedure.
But he assured that the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives is now gradually paying farmers at a sum of three billion baht a day.
He believed that with the resolutions of the BAAC board and the Cabinet, about 55 billion baht from the bank’s liquidity could be spared for use in the rice payment.
He also said the additional fund that the caretaker government could use to pay farmers will derive from the money which it obtained from rice sales and partly from the bank’s liquidity.
Earlier the bank union Prasit Pahome threatened to take the case to the National Anti Corruption Committee, the Election Commission, and the Constitutional Court if the bank’s board insisting on using the bank’s 180 billion baht liquidity to pay the rice as requested by the government.
He said using the bank’s liquidity would undermine the financial stability of the bank and could wreck the confidence of depositors.
He would also ask for cooperation from all state unions to oppose the government’s plan to use its liquidity for such purpose.
He said the bank has to reserve 60 billion baht of its 180 billion baht liquidity as required by the central bank, and the rest for the bank’s operations, and refund due deposits.