Rice subsidy dangers

Rice subsidy dangers

Silos across country filled with millions of tonnes of rice with govt only buyer & slow to sell. As cost of scheme soars, delayed payments to farmers & protests nationwide.

Rice farmers at work in rice fields. Large-scale farmers benefit more from the goernment's rice pledging scheme than do smaller farmers.


A rotten harvest

Mounting debts from the heavily criticised rice pledging scheme threaten to derail the country's development.


Sriwipa Siripunyawit and Wichit Chantanusornsiri

In the two years since the launch of the government's rice pledging policy, where do we stand now? Silos across the country are filled to the brim with millions of tonnes of grain, as the government has become the sole buyer of rice in the country but been slow to sell. Farmers nationwide are protesting about delayed payments as the cost of the scheme soars. And taxpayers are facing hundreds of billions of baht in losses, with the bill rising with each passing day due to the fact that the programme is a bald-faced subsidy paying farmers up to 40% above the market price.

The latest move by the Finance Ministry was to call for a bridging loan auction of commercial and state-owned banks last week in an attempt to get a loan to repay 1 million angry rice farmers.

However the auction for the first 20 billion-baht bridging loan was called off, as only a few banks joined in the bidding because most of them were worried about whether the caretaker government has the mandate to borrow. The government now owes the farmers 130 billion baht and the money from rice stock sales is insufficient to make the payments.

The caretaker government has tried to find ways to pay the debts owed to the farmers as it cannot afford to lose their votes.

If this were an enterprise, the word "bankruptcy" would not be sufficient to explain the massive losses and hefty damage caused to the country and its people. More importantly, corruption allegations are tarnishing the country as a whole.

The cost of this failure is enormous. In the past two years, the government has borrowed a total of 700 billion baht, equal to a two-year government investment budget. Even worse, the borrowing and debts continue to mount. And those bearing the brunt are the taxpayers.

But that is only the financial loss. What else have we lost along the way? And what costs are we about to pay if this much-denounced scheme carries on?

Many renowned economists, academics and public figures have slammed the subsidy and urged the government to end it. However, the Yingluck Shinawatra government has played deaf and continued with the scheme.

What will happen if the government continues the scheme?

[Read the rest of the article here ]

Mounting debts...

Crony capitalism and corruption....

Social costs and Thailand's reputation...

A way out of the imbroglio...


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  • academic: someone who teaches at a college, or who studies as part of their job - นักวิชาการ
  • allegations (noun): accusations - ข้อกล่าวหา
  • attempt (noun): when a person tries to do something or achieve some goal, makes an effort to do it - ความพยายาม
  • auction: a usually public sale of goods or property, where people make higher and higher bids (= offers of money) for each thing, until the thing is sold to the person who will pay most - การขายโดยการประมูล, การขายทอดตลาด
  • bald-faced: nothing hidden, can see everything, in a shameless way -
  • bankruptcy (noun): when a business runs out of money, cannot pay its debts and has to stop doing business; business failure - การล้มละลาย
  • bear: to accept, tolerate or endure especially something unpleasant - ทน
  • benefit: to get help or an advantage from something - ผลประโยชน์
  • bidding (noun): offering to buy/sell something at a specific price - การยื่นเสนอราคา, การประมูล
  • borrow: to take money from a bank, financial organisation, person, etc. and pay it back over a period of time - ยืม
  • borrowing: taking money from a bank, financial organisation, person, etc. and paying it back over a period of time - การยืม
  • bridge (adj.): temporary thing to use until getting permanent thing -
  • bridging: temporary thing to use until getting permanent thing -
  • brunt (noun): the main force of something unpleasant ส่วนหนักที่สุดที่ได้รับหรือกระทบ, ผลกระทบที่รุนแรง - ส่วนหนักที่สุดที่ได้รับหรือกระทบ, ผลกระทบที่รุนแรง
  • budget: an amount of money able to be spent on something - งบประมาณ
  • call off: to decide to stop something that is already happening; to decide that something will not happen - บอกเลิก
  • caretaker government: a temporary government that is in charge of a country until a new government is elected - รัฐบาลชั่วคราวที่ตั้งขึ้นเพื่อรอการเลือกตั้งครั้งใหม่
  • commercial: for business purposes - เกี่ยวกับการค้า
  • continued: happening or existing for a period of time without interruption - ซึ่งติดต่อกัน, ซึ่งต่อเนื่องกัน
  • criticised: receiving words of disapproval over something that you have supposedly done wrong - ถูกวิจารณ์, โดนว่า
  • crony: a friend or supporter, especially of someone powerful; a person that somebody spends a lot of time with - เพื่อนสนิท, พวกพ้อง, พรรคพวก
  • cronyism: the practice of giving jobs and other advantages to friends, especially in politics - ระบบพวกพ้อง การเล่นพรรคเล่นพวก การเอื้อประโยชน์ให้แก่คนใกล้ชิดของตน
  • damage (verb): to harm or spoil something/somebody - ทำความเสียหาย
  • debt (noun): an amount of money that you owe - หนี้, นี้สิน
  • delay (noun): causing to happen at a later time; happening at a later time than expected - การเลื่อน, ช้ากว่าปกติ
  • denounce: to criticise someone or something severely in public - ประณาม, ติเตียน
  • derail: to prevent something from continuing in the way that it was planned - ทำให้ล้มเหลว
  • development: the gradual growth of something so that it becomes more advanced, stronger, etc - การพัฒนา
  • due to: because of - เนื่องจาก
  • economist: a person who studies or writes about economics - นักเศรษฐศาสตร์
  • enormous: very large - ที่ใหญ่โตมโหฬาร
  • enterprise: an organisation, especially a business - กิจการ, บริษัท,อุตสาหกิจ,วิสาหกิจ
  • figure: someone who is important in some way - บุคคลสำคัญ
  • filled to the brim: when is a container is completely 100% full -
  • financial: involving money - เกี่ยวกับเงิน, ทางการเงิน
  • grain: the small hard seeds of food plants such as wheat, rice, etc; a single seed of such a plant - เมล็ดข้าว, เมล็ดพืช
  • harvest (noun): the activity of collecting a crop - การเก็บเกี่ยวผลผลิต
  • hefty: large (and heavy) - มาก
  • insufficient: not enough - ไม่เพียงพอ
  • investment (noun): the act of investing money in something - การลงทุน
  • large-scale (adjective): very big -
  • latest (adj): newest; most recent - ] ล่าสุด, See also: ทันสมัยที่สุด, เกิดหลังสุด
  • launch: an event held to announce or start selling a new product or service to the public - การเริ่มปฏิบัติการ, การออกตัวของสินค้า, การเริ่มวางขาย
  • loan: an amount of money that a person, business, or country borrows, especially from a bank - เงินกู้
  • mandate: given the authority to do something; ordered to do something - มอบอำนาจ (ให้ทำบางสิ่ง), ให้อำนาจ, บังคับ
  • massive: very large in size, amount or number - ใหญ่โต
  • mount: to increase - เพิ่มขึ้น
  • mounting: increasing - เพิ่มขึ้น
  • nationwide: throughout a whole country - ทั่วทั้งประเทศ
  • play deaf: when someone does not listen, they hear but pretend not to hear -
  • policy (noun): a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group - นโยบาย
  • protest: a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something - ชุมนุมประท้วง
  • public (adj): belonging to the government -
  • public figure: a well-known person -
  • renowned (adj): famous and admired for a special quality, skill or achievement - ที่มีชื่อเสียง
  • reputation: the opinion people have about how good or bad someone or something is - ชื่อเสียง
  • rice pledging scheme: a government programme in which a fixed price, in this case well above the market price, is offered to rice farmers for their harvested rice - การจำนำข้าว
  • rotten: spoiled; decayed - เน่า เสีย
  • scheme: a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people - แผนการ โครงการ
  • silo: a tall round tower used for storing things such as grain, crops, and food for animals - ฉาง, ไซโล
  • slammed: strongly criticised - วิพากษ์วิจารณ์อย่างรุนแรง
  • soar: to rise very quickly to a high level - มีความหวังสูง,พุ่งพรวดขึ้น
  • sole: only - เดี่ยวๆ
  • state: government - รัฐบาล
  • stock: to collect large amounts of things that may be needed - เก็บสะสมไว้ใน
  • subsidy: an amount of money that a government or organisation pays to help to reduce the cost of a product or service - เงินชดเชยที่รัฐเป็นผู้จ่ายให้
  • sufficient: enough - เพียงพอ
  • tarnish: to spoil; to make people have a worse opinion of you than they did before - ทำให้เสื่อมเสีย
  • threaten: to be likely to harm or destroy something - เป็นลางร้าย
  • urge: to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take - ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น
  • where do we stand: what is the current situation -
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