Connect with us


Finance seeks Bt50-bn term loans to pay off rice farmers

Legacy Phuket Gazette




– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Finance seeks Bt50-bn term loans to pay off rice farmers
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The Finance Ministry has invited 32 state and private banks to bid for the first phase of a three-year programme of bridge loans totalling Bt50 billion to pay rice farmers still owed under the pledging programme. The first Bt30-billion tender will be called early next month.

Pongpanu Svetarundra, deputy permanent secretary of the ministry, said those financial institutions interested in joining the bidding would be required to offer a minimum of Bt2 billion.

He said the ministry would open bidding for a term loan worth Bt30 billion on June 6, and a second tender for the remaining Bt20 billion on June 13.

After former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved the House of Representatives late last year and the government took on a caretaker role, which was prolonged by the failure to elect a new government in February, it was unable to raise the tens of billions of baht it owed farmers under the pledging project.

Accelerating these overdue payments to more than 800,000 farmers has been identified as a priority of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), as the military junta now calls itself. It says it will try to clear the books within a month.

As it will take some time for the Finance Ministry to borrow the Bt50 billion under its latest tender offer, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) announced that it would ante up Bt40 billion to get some of the farmers paid in short order.

Luck Wajananawat, managing director of the BAAC, said this amount would come out of the bank’s own farmers’ relief fund.

“The bank believes that the remaining farmers will all be paid within a month,” he said.

Luck said that while waiting for the Bt50 billion to be borrowed by the Ministry of Finance, the BAAC would begin to disburse an amount not exceeding Bt40 billion so that the payments could start right away.

This operation would be guarantee by the ministry.

According to the BAAC, as of last Friday, of a total of 1.67 million contracts under the rice-pledging scheme worth Bt192.95 billion, the bank had paid off 833,182 contracts worth more than Bt100 billion.


Meanwhile, the Commerce Ministry’s permanent secretary Srirat Rastapana said it would set up a special task force, on which a representative from the NCPO would sit, to inspect rice stocks and warehouses nationwide.

A source in the Finance Ministry said its auditing committee had found that about 3 million tonnes of rice had disappeared from the stockpiles.

The junta’s decision to accelerate payment of farmers long owed money under the pledging programme could help stimulate the country’s economic growth to 3 per cent this year, says the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

After a meeting of the chamber’s regional boards in Bangkok yesterday, TCC vice chairman Somkiat Anuras said the Bt92 billion in payments to farmers would help boost confidence in the economy.

“The total payment of Bt92 billion that will be soon provided to farmers will boost economic growth by about Bt300 billion to Bt400 billion this year. As a result, the economy could grow by 3 per cent this year, higher the previous expectation of 1.5 per cent,” he said.

Somkiat said a survey of members during the weekend found that the business sector had more confidence in future growth, despite the impact on the economy due from a half-year of political turmoil.

To draw up plans for an economic road map, the chamber and the Board of Trade of Thailand are to hold a meeting of their members and seven other business organisations today. (May 27). The meeting’s conclusions will be proposed to the junta.

Somkiat said TCC members largely shared the view that cross-border trade would be a key economic driver this year amid uncertain overall export and tourism growth.

Asked about concerns about foreign investors’ confidence, Somkiat said this was the time to manage the mess the country found itself in. He expects that more confidence will be seen after Thailand solves its internal problems. He believes the NCPO will do this and reform the country in various aspects including politics, government, the economy and education.

According to the chamber’s survey, about 76 per cent of respondents had a gloomy economic outlook for this year because of the impact from political turmoil in the first half. However, most had a better outlook for future growth.

Viroj Jiratikanchote, chairman of the TCC’s committee on economic development of the Northern region, said the northern economy would see slow growth this year due mainly on the impact of the earthquake on the tourism sector. The tourism industry is expected to see this year’s revenue decline by Bt4.6 billion, or 4.6 per cent, from the previous forecast of Bt94.6 billion.

— Phuket Gazette Editors


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Transport15 mins ago

Department of Land Transport will reopen, issue licenses

Best of22 mins ago

Top 8 Things to do in Chiang Mai

Tourism44 mins ago

Krabi schedules 82 flights per week from late October

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Best of51 mins ago

Top 6 Online Forums in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Friday Covid Update: 3,058 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand1 hour ago

Worker falls off roof in Chon Buri, sustains multiple injuries

Phuket2 hours ago

Talad Kaset market in Phuket reopens

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

PM Prayut tests negative after parliament maid has Covid-19

World2 hours ago

Myanmar: American journalist’s detention extended 2 more weeks

Pollution3 hours ago

Beached sperm whale covered in oil rescued in Phuket

Thailand4 hours ago

Unsatisifed with haircut, grandfather goes to police station for help

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Thai DDC probe into Covid-19 vaccine recipient deaths to finish next week

Thailand4 hours ago

Good Morning Thailand | Situation in Hua Hin, bars petition for overturn of alcohol ban, Sandbox

Politics4 hours ago

Thammanat Prompaew said to be PPRP’s next secretary-general

Thailand4 hours ago

Pattaya security guard dies after crashing into garbage truck

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8