Interest in Thai rice is good but govt scheme was still a total shambles
April 13, 2014 00:00
Re: A mountain off our shoulders, Letters, April 11.
I agree with Robin Grant that the news about several countries showing an interest in Thai rice is good for the country.
However, I wouldn’t say this has proved critics of the government’s rice-pledging scheme wrong.
First, no deals have been finalised yet. Some country with a rice glut might come up with better prices than that of Thailand.
Second, even if we can export up to 12 million tonnes of rice this year, it will mean only part of the country’s rice problem is alleviated. The Bt500 billion loss that the scheme has incurred will never be returned.
Third, the Yingluck government is still secretive about how much rice it has in stock. Thus, decomposed and unaccounted for rice as a result of carelessness and corruption could be as much as three million tonnes, or even more.
Hence, a lesson must be learned from this costly rice-pledging scheme.