ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Corruption main cause of rice subsidy problems: NIDA survey
One-third of Thailand’s farmers pointed at corruption as the cause of the government’s failure to pay for the rice they sold under the state pledging scheme, according to an academic survey released today.
The National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) conducted the survey on “Farmers’ Perspectives on Rice Resolutions” among 1,250 sample respondents nationwide on Monday and Tuesday.
The Yingluck Shinawatra administration launched the rice subsidy programme two years ago and pledged to pay farmers Bt15,000 per tonne of rice.
Questioned on the reasons for the government’s failure to pay for their rice, nearly one on three—31.13 per cent—of farmers pinpointed corruption, 18.42 per cent blamed money shortages due to losses in rice trading, 18.36 per cent said the government lacked liquidity after its failure to sell the rice, 15.03 per cent said the caretaker government was restricted from borrowing from financial institutions, and 12.89 per cent cited other reasons such as protesters’ obstructing the government’s operations, the government’s administrative failure and its irresponsibility.
Who should be responsible for the government’s failure on overdue payments?
The highest percentage of 35.92 named the caretaker prime minister, followed by the Cabinet at 32.33 per cent, the commerce minister at 16.58 per cent, the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee at 9.85 per cent, the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives at 3.50 per cent, and other elements such as the Election Commission, the Agriculture Ministry and the new government at 0.14 per cent.
The majority of farmers, 36.72 per cent, asked the government to urgently sell rice from the state stockpiles to earn money to pay them; 28.88 per cent said the government should borrow to pay them; 22.64 per cent called on the government to resign; 3.60 per cent asked that their rice be returned; and 4.08 per cent offered other proposals including action against protesters who have obstructed the government’s administration and cooperation among all related agencies to assist farmers.
Regarding the rice pledging scheme, 43.04 per cent said it should be suspended, 34.4 per cent wanted the programme to continue with paddy price adjusted in accord with the global price, 18.24 per cent preferred the scheme to continue without any change, and 1.12 per cent said it should continue but the management and checking systems should be improved, or it could be replaced with a rice guarantee programme.
Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below