UDD: Can academics do better?
Korkaew Pikulthong, a co-leader of the red-shirt United front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) on Wednesday challenged academics at the National Institute of Development Administration (Nida) to come up with a better rice pledging scheme.
- Published: 3/10/2012 at 04:15 PM
- Newspaper section: breakingnews
He was responding to the move by a group of 146 academics and students at Nida to petition the Constitution Court to call a halt to the scheme, arguing that it violates the constitution which promotes free trade and prohibits the state from competing in business with the private sector.
Mr Korkaew said on Wednesday that he rejected their argument and the court challenge and supported the rice pledging scheme being implemented by the Pheu Thai-led government.
The scheme was raising the purchasing power of farmers, enabling them to buy essential goods and to support their children's higher education, he said.
The Pheu Thai list MP said he disagreed with the criticism that the pledging scheme was respnsible for the decline in rice exports because the price of Thai rice was higher than its competitors.
He said statistics showed that the price of Thai rice has been higher than other rice exporters for several years.
As an example, in 2009, the price of Thai rice stood at US$555 a tonne, while Vietnamese export rice was reported at US$432 per tonne.
The UDD leader said it is not necessary for the country to lower the price of its rice to strengthen trade competitiveness on the world market. Thailand should instead follow the example of the oil producing countries in boosting oil prices.
“Without oil people can survive, but without food, including rice, they would die,” he said.
The rice pledging scheme is a good policy, Mr Korkaew said. If the academics had spotted any weak points in it, they should propose solutions to the problem to the government, not try to shut it down.
If the academics had any better scheme in mind, they should propose it to the government for consideration, he said.
The price pledging scheme should be continued for two or three years, and after that the government could assess the results and see whether it has fulfilled the set objectives.
About the author
- Writer: Online Reporters
- Position: Online Reporters