Pracha insists on 90 baht/kilo offer but ready for next talk

Government chief negotiator Pol Gen Pracha Promnok insisted on the 90-bah/kilo offer for rubber sheet agreed last week with farmer representatives in the South and agreed to have another round of talks with the farmers if they are still unsatisfied with such offer.

Pracha, who is deputy prime minister and headed a top negotiation team to negotiate with farmer representatives from 16 provinces in Nakhon Si Thammarat last week, said that farmers have the right to call for higher price or 95 baht  but the government still stood firm on the offered price of 90 baht for sheet rubber.

However he said that the government was ready to reconsider their demands at the meeting of the Natural Rubber Policy Committee this afternoon.

Asked to comment on threats of intensified protest that could paralyze southern railway services again on Saturday and the blockade of deep seaport and border customs office in Songkhla province  on Saturday (Sept 14),, the deputy prime minister said that the talk is still open and any threat to blockade rail service or seaport was illegal and could not do so because it is the people who will suffer.

He said farmers should return to the talk and new round of talk was welcomed.

Pracha claimed that he had met the president of the rubber association and was told that most farmers were happy with the 90-baht offer.

For a call by the farmers not to take legal action against their leaders facing charges by the police, Pracha said that this would be taken into consideration but could not say exactly how much could be done to help them.

He said that a meeting will be held on Saturday with governors of 14 southern provinces to see how much they could help to explain the offer and subsidy that the government has given the farmers as currently news of the rubber farmers’ protest were very confusing, adding that he would like everything to conclude on that day.