IMF calls on Thailand to ditch rice support scheme

IMF calls on Thailand to ditch rice support scheme – Reuters, November 11, 2013
…Pulling the plug on a rice price guarantee scheme for farmers might help stem the losses of billions of dollars of state funds, but Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra would risk losing crucial rural support by doing so.
Farmers helped Yingluck sweep to power in 2011, when she promised to bring back the subsidies and handouts that helped her brother Thaksin Shinawatra win two terms in office.
The rice policy has been a disaster, however, with losses of 136 billion baht ($4.3 billion) in the 2011-2012 crop year. After that, the government ceased reporting the losses, although former central bank governor and finance minister Pridiyathorn Devakula recently estimated the total at 425 billion baht…

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