Thailand to borrow $1.65 billion to help farmers get jobs

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's finance ministry plans to borrow 40 billion baht (S$1.65 billion) to provide temporary work for farmers during the dry season, Deputy Finance Minister Wisut Srisuphan said on Monday.

The plan is a short-term measure to help farmers find jobs and would be proposed to the cabinet soon, he told reporters. "The ministry is preparing a package," Wisut added, without elaborating.

The military government is trying to tackle economic problems and boost the economy after taking power in a coup in May to end months of political unrest and restore stability.

The junta has said one of its priorities is to solve problems of farmers, who helped support anti-government protests earlier last year that culminated in the coup.

It quickly paid rice farmers all the arrears owned under the a controversial rice buying scheme of the previous civil government it ousted.

The rice scheme, which paid farmers above market prices and cost Thailand billions of dollars, led to the impeachment of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra last week.

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