Thailand To End Rice Scheme

Thailand is to scrap a contentious rice subsidy scheme that has cost billions of dollars and stoked the country’s deepening political crisis, the government said on Tuesday.

The crisis-hit programme, which has sparked protests from unpaid farmers, will end this month because the nation’s caretaker administration has no authority to extend it, ministers said.

The sudden announcement raises the stakes in the battle for political control of Thailand, although the government refused to rule out reviving an ailing scheme that is central to its appeal to its rural electoral heartland.

The rice program officially eats up at least $4 billion a year but is gripped by a funding crisis, with the administration of Yingluck Shinawatra, prime minister, unable to raise money from banks or bonds to settle debts with farmers dating as far back as September.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza