Rubber cooperatives would receive money which the government owes them by Oct 19 for rubber sold under the crop price stabilisation scheme, Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Nattawut Saikuar said.
Rubber farmers from various provinces hold a placarddemanding the government speeduppayments for its rubber price support scheme during a protest outside Government House. APICHART JINAKUL
Mr Nattawut gave the assurance following a meeting with representatives of more than 400 rubber farmers who staged a rally outside Government House yesterday.
The rubber farmers were demanding the government speed up payments for rubber sold to the Rubber Estate Organisation (REO) from Aug 17-Oct 3.
The payment delay was causing liquidity problems at several cooperatives, they claimed.
Mr Nattawut said the payments will be expedited for all participating cooperatives by Oct 19, after the Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives Bank today hands over a fund of 5 billion baht to the REO.
It is the first payment from the budget which the cabinet has approved for purchasing rubber, he said.
The deputy agricultural minister also promised to forward the rubber farmers' proposal seeking to scrap the rubber purchase scheme to the cabinet for consideration.
The rubber farmers are urging the cancellation of the purchase programme and calling on the government to provide soft loans to cooperatives and give them a free hand in stock management.
Mr Nattawut also recommended that the rubber farmers who are seeking an end to draft rubber legislation now before parliament send a submission to the panel scrutinising it.
He said he would work with the committee and ensure the rubber farmers' concerns are addressed.
The draft rubber legislation, endorsed by the cabinet in March this year, seeks to establish a single agency responsible for the development of the rubber industry. The agency is intended to speed up implementation of policies and offer price stability.
About the author
- Writer: Patsara Jikkham