Thailand’s Finance Ministry has planned to raise 50 billion baht (1.2 billion USD) in loans from banks and financial institutions in June in order to hasten outstanding repayments to rice farmers.

The ministry initially announced it would open an auction for banks to offer three-year bank loans for 30 billion baht (194 million USD) on June 6 and for the remaining 20 billion baht (610 million USD) on June 13.

However, according to the modified plan, the ministry now seeks to complete the bidding for the entire 50 billion baht on June 3 and receive amounts from the winning banks by June 6 so that it can disburse payments to rice farmers as early as possible.

According to the head of the Public Debt Management Office (PDMO), the plan has been changed so that they will get three days to negotiate with the winning banks over fund transfers.

The caretaker government still has to pay about 90 billion baht (2.7 billion USD) to nearly 800,000 rice farmers. The loans are expected to complete the payment.

The Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives has already started making payments to some farmers from its reserves of 40 billion baht (1.2 billion USD).-VNA