CityNews – Television broadcasts were interrupted today – one man told us that in the middle of a prison break on his TV – so PM Yingluck Shinawatra could address the citizens of Thailand about the rice scheme.
Ricky Ward managed to take a photo of a TV during the speech.
A summary in English:
“Addressing the farmers and all beloved Thai people.
Today as head of the government, I would like to take this opportunity to talk to you about the rice pledging scheme which is under much scrutiny.
First of all please allow me to insist upon the intentions and aims of this government in this project. I am confident that since the Phua Thai party proposed this scheme and received your support and trust, this project will indeed increase the income and quality of life for the continued prosperity, stability and longevity of all Thai farmers.
In the past, although farmers were indeed the backbone of the nation, and in a nation where we all eat rice, we have to be grateful to farmers. But what was sad was that in spite of every grain of rice helping us to grow, the farmers were the ones who were taken advantage of and squeezed, having to suffer in spite of their backs being against the skies and faces against the earth all this time.
Over the past two years this project of the government’s has been successful, it has reached its target, farmers have more income and the foundations of our grassroots economics have been strengthened. In fact the entire Thai economy has grown.
As to the search for loans to cover this cost. It is very clear that there have always been sources for investment for this project.
The first point is that the income from the sales of rice in the markets is under the oversee of the Ministry of Commerce.
And the second point is that the money used by the Ministry of Finance is in accordance of the Ministry’s normal financial management in seeking loans and approving the loans from the Bank of Agriculture and Agriculture Collectives to be used to alleviate cash-flow for the project from various financial establishments both governmental and private according to the budget allocated by the Ministry.
The people can see clearly that the money arrives in the hands of the farmers leading to the continued populism of this project and the pride of all those involved in it.”