Monday, February 17, 2014

Rice Policy of Yingluck Shinawatra:
Now Government Savings Bank under pressure

Thailands Governments Savings Bank saw unusual cash-withdrawals on Monday, after the Bank had announced to indirectly loan funds to pay farmers owed money under the rice-pledging scheme of the government of Yingluck Shinawatra. This is reported by Bangkok Post. The Government Saving Bank is stateowned. And it gave the loan to Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, which is stateowned as well.

Later yesterday the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives informed, that it halts the loan from Government Savings Bank until the Finance Ministry clarifies the legality of such loans, as The Nation reported.
Also on Monday thousands of farmers marched from the Commerce Ministry and other sites to the Office of the Permanent Secretary for Defence in Muang Thong Thani, demanding a meeting with caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. She did not show up.

Will the Rice Policy of Yingluck Shinawatra lead to her end as Thailands Primeminister?
It looks less and less impossible, that Thailands Primeminister Yingluck Shinawatra will have to step down due to her rice policy. Thailands National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is expected to bring formal charges against her for her role in the rice-pledging scheme later this month, reports Bangkok Post. The question is: Will Yingluck Shinawatra have to face charges of violating Section 157 of the Criminal Code for dereliction of duty? If the main NACC panel decides to indict her and take the case to court, she would be required to step down from all official roles.

The government rice pledging programme has beem critizied due to corruption and inefficiency already by many experts. One of the most important economic policies of the Yingluck Shinawatra government, the programme represents a guarantee by the state to purchase unlimited amounts of rice from local farmers at prices as much as 50 percent higher than market value, as Bangkok Post reported.

Right now Thailands rice farmers are protesting against the government, because they didn't get the payment in time. Yingluck Shinawatras government was not able to raise funds to pay the farmers. Right now there are reports, that rice mills could help the farmers and the government, as The Nation writes.

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