Here is some simple arithmetic. Suppose you are a miller and you pay a farmer 15,000 baht for a tonne of paddy and, after the grain is milled, you sell the produce at 10,000 baht. Your loss is 5,000 baht, which is simple and straightforward.
But this is not what the government is thinking. It has been trying to convince the gullible among us to accept their logic - or twisted logic - concerning the 136 billion baht losses incurred by the rice-pledging scheme for the 2011-12 crop years.
In the "Yingluck Government Meets the People" programme broadcast on Saturday, Prime Minister's Office Minister Varathep Rattanakorn was quoted as saying, "as a matter of fact, the use of the word 'losses' I do not fully agree with because in taking care of the farmers, which means money has to be injected to subsidise [the scheme], the government has no intention whatsoever to make profits from the scheme, but the subsidies have to be kept in a proper proportion vis-a-vis the national budget".
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