The state-owned Public Warehouse Organization has promised to speed up payments of warehouse rental fees to over 600 warehouse owners for the storage of rice bought under the rice pledging scheme of the Yingluck Shinawatra administration.
PWO board chairman Pol Lt-Gen Kraiboon Suadsong on Friday (Nov 17) met with the warehouse owners to discuss the unpaid warehouse rental fees owed by the PWO since 2012, totaling about 2 billion baht.
Warehouse owners have been complaining for years of the delayed payment of rental fees from PWO–a state enterprise under the Ministry of Commerce.
He told the warehouse owners that he had to wait for funding from the Budget Bureau and, of late, the PWO has received about 1 billion baht from the Budget Bureau and the amount would be allocated among the warehouse owners.
One warehouse owner in Phayao province told Thai PBS that he borrowed from a bank to build the warehouse to store rice for the PWO and was obliged to pay back the bank with interests. He added that PWO owes him 15 million baht in outstanding rental fees and he badly needs the money.
Meanwhile on Friday, the Rice Policy and Management Committee agreed to slow down the release of rice into the market until next year due to the arrival into market of newly-harvested rice in order not to affect the price of new rice crops.
Commerce permanent secretary Nuntawan Sakuntanaga said that the world’s total rice production for the new crop year was estimated at about 483.8 million tonnes – about three million tonnes less than the previous year.
During the past 10 months, 44 million tonnes of rice were sold worldwide, including 9.22 million tonnes from Thailand which was the highest amount exported by any country.