Agencies seek B76bn for farmers
text size

Agencies seek B76bn for farmers

The Finance Ministry will discuss with the Budget Bureau to seek a 76-billion-baht budget to support rice farmers under the farmers' income guarantee scheme, said Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.

The overall scheme covers rice and other crops. For the rice scheme alone, the total project budget is 89 billion baht, of which 13 billion baht was gradually disbursed. The rice scheme needs another 76 billion baht.

Mr Arkhom declined to specify if the government will have to revise the monetary and fiscal discipline framework to give more room to borrow from state financial institutions to finance the rice scheme.

The existing framework caps the government's outstanding borrowing from the state financial institutions for financing state projects at 30% of the annual expenditure budget. The outstanding borrowing has nearly hit the ceiling rate.

Mr Arkhom said he still has time to seek financial sources to finance the rice scheme as the cash injection into the scheme will begin in the next few months and the injection will be done on a gradual basis.

Deputy finance minister Santi Prompat said that the cabinet assigned the ministry to make the first and second payments to the rice farmers in the scheme in the next few days, using the existing budget of 13 billion baht.

It also asked the ministry and the Budget Bureau to seek ways to procure financial sources to make the following payments.

The cabinet also discussed ways to boost rice farmers' income by reducing their costs, he added.

Mr Santi said Mr Arkhom told state agencies last week to examine if they completed their projects. If so and they have remaining budget, they should return the sum to the state coffers to give more room for government borrowing under the monetary and fiscal discipline framework.

Do you like the content of this article?