Rice payments start today amid fierce criticism | Bangkok Post: learning

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Bank withdrawals force rice loan rethink

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Payments to rice farmers began but were severely limited after pressure on participating banks increased. The Government Savings Bank’s president, who admitted to providing much of the money, said depositor withdrawals were unusually large today. 

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GSB president Worawit Chailimpamontri explains that the loan to BAAC was not directly connected the rice-pledging scheme. Clearly bank customers didn't believe him as they rushed to close their accounts today. PORNPROM SATRABHAYA

17:30

Here is the latest on the rush to withdraw money from Government Savings Bank branches from our online reporters

Withdrawals were heavy throughout the day from GSB branches. PATTARAPONG CHATPATTARASILL

Government Savings Bank (GSB) president and chief executive Worawit Chailimpamontri on Monday admitted that the bank is experiencing an unusual rate of cash withdrawals following its decision to indirectly loan funds to pay farmers owed money under the rice-pledging scheme.

The GSB chief on Sunday confirmed a five billion baht loan to the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) to make overdue payments to rice farmers under the rice-pledging scheme. But he said the bank could withdraw the loan if it looked like the deal could damage GSB's finances. Both banks are state-owned.

Mr Worawit on Monday linked cash withdrawals from several branches to the inter-bank loan to BAAC and said the loan would be used to shore up the BAAC's liquidity for no more than 30 days.

''All bank managers have been directed to explain to customers that the bank has no involvement in the rice-pledging scheme as reported,'' Daily News Online quoted him as saying.

All branches were ordered to double their cash reserves to cope with the large quantities of money withdrawn by clients, he added.

16:20

It has been a difficult day for the Government Savings Bank (GSB) as depositers have flocked to many branches to withdraw large sums of money or even close their accounts. Several branches ran completely out of cash and had to issue cashier checks instead. To help relieve some of the pressure, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC),the recipient of a 5 billion baht loan which was to go to pay rice farmers in the rice-pledging scheme, announced this afternoon that is delaying payments pending a meeting with the Finance Ministry. Thus, there were many disappointed farmers today to who gone to their local BAAC branches only to find the government had not yet transferred money to their accounts.

12:20

Large number of depositors are reported at GSB branches this morning, many of them withdrawing funds or closing their accounts altogether. This photo was taken at the bank's headquarters in Bangkok. SOMCHAI POOMLARD.

Reports are coming in this morning that large numbers of Government Saving's bank depositors are withdrawing their money, more than 10 million baht in the first hour, according to Thai PBS. (But there are also reports of some people depositing money.) The amount paid to farmers today is likely to be far less than four billion, the report said.

Meanwhile, a large group of farmers has gone to the prime minister's temporary office at the Defence Ministry's office of the permanent secretary in Muang Thong Thani demanding to speak to Ms Yingluck. Thus far, no government representative has gone down to see them.

Unions blast rice loan scheme

Govt says farmers will be paid from today

POST REPORTERS

The Government Savings Bank’s 20-billion-baht loan to the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) came under strong opposition by their labour unions yesterday, casting doubts on the government’s bid to begin paying farmers for the rice sold under the pledging scheme today.

The caretaker government, however, insisted the farmers will gradually receive long-overdue money from today.

The labour union of GSB yesterday issued a statement calling on the management to cancel the loan to the BAAC, saying the deal was undermining depositors’ trust for the bank.

Likit Klinthanom, the president of the Government Savings Bangkok labour union is interviewed by the media today at the bank's headquarters. He explained why union members oppose the loan to the BACC. SOMCHAI POOMLARD.

It has called on the management to seek the return of the transferred fund and suspend any lending that would affect confidence in the bank.

The union demands that management immediately stop lending to the BAAC, call back previous loans provided to the BAAC and stop any transaction which will cause the clients’ confidence to erode.

The move came after a campaign on social networks to withdraw deposits from the GSB began spreading, following reports that the lending would be used to pay for the farmer’s rice pledging debts.

Representatives of the BAAC labour union said yesterday it was not clear where the money earmarked to pay the farmers came from.

The union was ready to take action if it turned out the cash came from the GSB’s loan.

Worawit: The lending will not put GSB depositors’ money at risk. PORNPROM SATRABHAYA

At yesterday’s press conference, GSB president Worawit Chailimpamontri said the lending of 20 billion baht was not meant to support the troubled rice-pledging scheme.

When the board was asked to approve the lending, there was “no request’’ that the money would be used to fund the rice pledging scheme, he said.

Of the total credit line, a few billion baht was transferred to the BAAC, he said.

Mr Worawit also asked the depositors not to withdraw their money from the bank following a report that the online community was urging people to withdraw and close their accounts with the GSB.

He said the lending will not put the depositors’ money at risk, adding that the GSB also extended interbank loans worth more than a hundred billion baht to 35 more banks.

Speculation was high that the cash would be used to pay the farmers’ debts as caretaker Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan assured yesterday that the BAAC would today start paying the farmers.

According to the minister, the BAAC is expected to pay an average of 4 billion baht per day.

It is hoped the partial payment will take the heat off the government which needs about 130 billion baht to pay the more than 1 million farmers participating in the scheme.

Mr Niwatthamrong said the government has tens of billions of baht to pay off the debts. The sources of the fund come from loans and sales of rice stocks.

‘’Every branch of BAAC will pay on the basis of first-come-first-serve,” Mr Niwatthamrong said. “Those who pledged the rice first will be paid first. BAAC can pay an average of 4 billion baht per day.

‘‘So there is no need for farmers to come to Bangkok to protest. The money will be transferred to their accounts with the BAAC.’’

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Vocabulary:

admit: to agree that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it - ยอมรับ

agriculture: the science or practice of farming - เกษตรกรรม, การเกษตร

approve: to give official permission - อนุมัต

assure: to tell someone that something is true or will definitely happen - ให้ความมั่นใจ, ยืนยัน

at risk: in danger - ตกอยู่ในความเสี่ยง

average: an amount calculated by adding several amounts together, finding a total, and dividing the total by the number of amounts - เฉลี่ย, ค่าเฉลี่ย

basis: the important facts, ideas or events that support something; the reason why people take a particular action - รากฐาน, หลักพื้นฐาน, หลัก

bid: an attempt to do something - ความพยายาม 

blast: to criticise severely - วิพากษ์วิจารณ์อย่างรุนแรง

branch: an office or shop representing a large company or organisation in a particular area - สาขา

campaign: a planned series of activities - การรณรงค์

caretaker government: a temporary government that is in charge of a country until a new government is elected - รัฐบาลชั่วคราวที่ตั้งขึ้นเพื่อรอการเลือกตั้งครั้งใหม่

cash: money - เงินสด

cast doubt on: to make people feel less sure about or have less trust in something or someone - ลดความเชื่อถือ, ทำให้สงสัย

client: a customer or someone who receives services - ลูกค้า

commerce minister: the minister in charge of the Commerce Ministry - รัฐมนตรีว่าการกระทรวงพาณิชย์

confidence: the quality of being certain - ความมั่นใจ

cooperative: a business or farm owned and run by the people involved, with the profits shared by them - สมาคมสหกรณ์

credit line: money that can be borrowed if needed; already approved - เพดานสินเชื่อ; วงเงินสินเชื่อ

deal: a formal agreement, especially in business or politics - ข้อตกลง, การตกลงซื้อขาย, การซื้อขาย

debt: an amount of money that you owe - หนี้, นี้สิน

demand: to ask for something very firmly - เรียกร้อง, ต้องการ

depositor: a person or business that keeps money in a bank account -

earmark: to decide to use something, especially money, for a particular purpose - ตัดสินใจที่จะใช้สำหรับวัตถุประสงค์เฉพาะ

erode: to weaken; to gradually reduce the value, importance or level of something -

flock: to go somewhere in large numbers; to gather together in large numbers - แห่กันไป

fund: money provided for something - เงินทุน กองทุน

fund: to provide money for something - ให้เงินทุน

gradually: slowly and in small stages or amounts - อย่างทีละน้อย

headquarters: the place where an organisation or company has its main offices - สำนักงานใหญ่ กองบัญชาการ

heat: pressure - ความกดดัน

immediately: happening right after something else with no delay; right away - ทันที

insist: to keep saying very firmly that something is true - ยืนกราน ยืนยัน

interbank: between banks; bank-to-bank -

involvement: the act or process of taking part in something - การเกี่ยวข้อง

issue: to announce something officially - ออกประกาศ

issue: to officially give out - ออก

labour union: an organisation of workers that aims to improve pay and conditions of work - สหภาพแรงงาน

lending: giving money to someone who agrees to pay it back in the future - การให้ยืม

link: to connect - เชื่อม

liquidity: a situation in which an organisation, company, business, etc. has the money it needs to pay its bills - สภาพคล่อง

loan: an amount of money that a person, business, or country borrows, especially from a bank - เงินกู้

local: in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about - ท้องถิ่น

opposition: strong disagreement with a plan or policy - ความขัดแย้ง

overdue: of something that should have been done earlier, e.g., a payment that should have been paid before now - พ้นกำหนด, ที่เลยกำหนดเวลา

partial: in part, but not complete - บางส่วน

participate: to take part in or become involved in an activity - มีส่วน

pending: waiting to be dealt with, settled or completed - ยังค้างอยู่, ซึ่งยังไม่จบสิ้น, อยู่ในระหว่าง

pledge rice: to sell rice to the government at a particular price, with the right to reclaim the rice if the market price goes higher - จำนำข้าว

press conference: an official meeting where someone makes a formal statement about a particular issue or event to journalists and answers their questions about it - การแถลงข่าว

pressure: a worried feeling that you get when you have to deal with a difficult or complicated situation - ความกดดัน

rate: the level or speed at which something happens or changes, or the amount or number of times it happens or changes in a particular period - อัตรา

recipient: someone who receives something - ผู้ได้รับ

relieve: to help improve a bad situation - ผ่อนคลาย, บรรเทา

representative: someone who has been chosen or elected by a person or group to vote, give opinions, or make decisions for them - ผู้แทน

reserves: the amount of money held by an organisation that can be used in difficult circumstances - เงินสำรอง

rice-pledging scheme: a government programme in which farmers sell rice to the government at a particular price, with the right to reclaim the rice if the market price goes higher - โครงการจำนำข้าว

scheme: a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people - แผนการ โครงการ

shore up: to help to support something, often that something that has problems or that is weak and in danger fo failing - ยัน, พยุง, เสริม

social network: websites or other services on the internet for communication with people who share your interests - เครือข่ายสังคม

source: the place something comes from or starts at, or the cause of something - แหล่งกำเนิด

speculation: ideas or discussion about what might happen or has happened or why something has happened without having complete information - การคาดการณ์

spread: to (cause to) cover, reach or have an effect on a wider or increasing area or number of people - แพร่กระจาย, แพร่กระจายไปทั่ว

state: government - รัฐบาล

statement: something that you say or write that gives information or an opinion - แถลงการณ์, คำแถลง

stock: an amount of something that you keep so that you can use it when you need it - ที่เก็บไว้ในสต๊อก

sum: an amount of something, especially money - จำนวนเงิน

suspend: to stop for a period of time - ยกเลิกชั่วคราว, ระงับชั่วคราว

temporary: done or used for only a limited period of time, i.e., not permanent - ชั่วคราว

transaction: the action or process of buying or selling something - การค้า

transfer: to move from one place to another; change location - โยกย้าย

trust: a feeling of confidence in someone that shows you believe they are honest, fair, and reliable - ความเชื่อใจ, ความไว้วางใจ

undermine: to make someone become gradually less effective, confident, or successful - บ่อนทำลาย

urge: to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take - วิงวอน ย้ำเตือน

withdraw: to take money out of a bank account - ถอนเงินจากธนาคาร

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