Thailand cuts rice subsidy price after $5.5b loss
BANGKOK (AP) - Thailand says it will pay farmers 20 per cent less for rice to stem losses from a much-criticised subsidy programme that dislodged the country from its spot as the world's No. 1 exporter of the grain.
Government spokesman Warathep Rattanakorn said on Wednesday the government will pay 12,000 baht (S$491) per tonne of rice, compared to the current price of 15,000 baht.
The government is also setting limits on the amount of rice the government will purchase to 500,000 tonnes per farmer.
Warathep said the changes were in response to public criticism over the US$4.4 billion (S$5.5 billion) loss that the subsidy programme has incurred. The scheme was a flagship policy of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government to woo support from Thai farmers.