PPRP touts wider use of reform land
The Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) has vowed to push for a controversial land policy proposal that would allow farmers holding Sor Por Kor documents to seek commercial gains from their properties if it forms government after the March 24 election.
The proposal is the brainchild of PPRP heavyweight Suchart Tancharoen, who suggested the use of Sor Por Kor land should be expanded instead of being limited to farming only.
Mr Suchart on Sunday explained the proposal as PPRP leader Uttama Savanayana led party executives and members on an election campaign stop in Lop Buri's Ban Mi district.
Mr Suchart said the proposal has become part of the PPRP's campaign policy after opinions were gathered from people nationwide.
He said the proposal would be implemented by the Agricultural Land Reform Office (Alro). He gave an assurance that Sor Por Kor land will not fall into the hands of commercial developers or foreign investors.
Farmers who occupy Sor Por Kor land would be given documents showing "endorsement of ownership''. The documents are not title deeds, he said, adding the documents can change hands, though the Alro would remain the actual owner of land.
The land can be transferred to those who meet criteria set by Alro, Mr Suchart said. Moreover, the land could also be used by occupants as collateral for loans, he said. The current law governing the Sor Por Kor land reform scheme would have to be amended.
The proposal has been rejected previously by Agriculture Minister Grisada Boonrach, who said the law governing the land scheme is already in place.
The scheme was designed so poor landless people could farm and earn a living. About 35 million rai was given to seven million poor farmers and ownership cannot change hands unless it is inherited, Mr Grisada said.