Abhisit: Rice scheme needs fixing
- Published: 6/10/2012 at 04:13 PM
- Online news:
The government should review its rice price pledging programme to ensure tranparency, Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Saturday.
The government must accept the fact that the rice pledging scheme has created problems for rice farmers. In addition, it has opened opportunities for corruption, said the opposition leader.
The Pheu Thai government has become the country's sole rice buyer, paying prices at least 40% above market rates to farmers.
Critics say a lot of that money does not end up in farmers' hands but gets siphoned off by middlemen, millers and others including civil servants and politicians. Worse, the government is sitting on millions of tonnes of rice that it will have to sell at a loss, if it can sell the grain at all.
One minister in Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's cabinet has already acknowledged that there was some corruption in the rice scheme. said Mr Abhisit. Therefore, the government should open up a channel for the general public to monitor its transparency in line with the democratic system, he added.
"The government must review the programme to assess whether it is the best way to help raise the incomes of rice farmers," he said.
"If the government is to spend a huge amount of 150 billion baht for this policy, it would be better to share the money directly with each rice farmer."
The National Anti-Corruption Commission had previously advised the government to adjust the rice scheme to effectively prevent corruption, he added.
About the author
- Writer: Online Reporters
Position: Online Reporters