The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) made the final two payments of outstanding debt owed to farmers participating in the rice-pledging scheme to two growers in Khon Kaen province on Tuesday. The payments marked an official end of probably the most costly and corruption-prone policy ever implemented in this country.
Altogether 92 billion baht has been paid to some 800,000 farming households in less than a month, from the BAAC’s own revolving fund and loans secured from financial institutions through the Public Debt Management Office, after the decision made by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to address the plight of the rice farmers.
NCPO chief Prayuth Chan-ocha has made it crystal clear that the contentious pledging scheme will be scrapped. He also ruled out any return to the rice price guarantee scheme which was implemented by the previous Democrat-led government — another costly populist programme, although not as costly as the Pheu Thai-run scheme.
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