February 12, 2014 00:00 By By Somchai Samart The Nation
Rubber growers have urged the caretaker government to speedily distribute Bt6 billion in financial aid before the project's deadline arrives on March 31.
Rubber Farmers Association of Thailand chairman Boonsong Nabthong said yesterday that the Cabinet on December 3, 2013 approved the distribution of Bt11 billion in aid to rubber growers, at a rate of Bt2,520 per rai for up to 25 rai. The first payments totalling Bt5 billion were made in January, Boonsong said, but procedural issues have delayed the remaining Bt6 billion.
He wanted the Agriculture Ministry, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives and the Budget Bureau to work quickly so that the Bt6 billion could reach them before March 31.
Boonsong said 30 per cent of some 900,000 rubber growers who registered for financial aid had yet to be paid, adding that rubber growers now suffered from low rubber prices of Bt48-Bt49 per kilo for fresh latex and Bt58-Bt59 per kilo for unsmoked rubber sheet (grade 3).
The arrival of the rubber trees’ leaf-shedding season from February to May would be an additional blow, because growers cannot earn money from tapping latex at this time. The Bt6-billion payments would be a big help for them while waiting for May so that they can tap rubber latex again, he added.