In our last post we noted that The Dictator was fuming and jumping about, claiming that rice price declines are all the fault of collusion between millers and “politicians” out to get the junta/government.In response, The Dictator’s minions have been rushing here and there, seeking people to blame for the junta bringing back a rice subsidy and pledging scheme that will cost at least 127 billion baht.
The Bangkok Post reports that the junta has also come up with a brilliant idea for raising rice prices. The military dictatorship has decided that it can order millers to pay decent prices. It has “deployed” soldiers to “seek cooperation” from “all rice mills nationwide to buy grain from farmers at ‘reasonable’ prices in an effort to shore up rice prices.”
Brilliant! Order the millers to pay above market prices will mean that they can be eliminated.
Of course, this threatening move “was not aimed at threatening millers but seeking their cooperation not to drive down prices…”.
Brilliant! As with political activists, catch everyone off guard by coming up with ridiculous lies, fooling no one, so item 1 above works – force prices paid up.
Every “mill operators across the country” will get “cooperation” visits as the soldiers seek to “gather information.”
Brilliant! Troops in humvees, in uniform and with a load of weapons will certainly get “cooperation.”
In addition, the “[a]rmed forces will buy grain from farmers through growers’ cooperatives to feed 100,000 military personnel as well as resell grain…”. Brilliant! The military brass can surely make a bit of loot on this! What a bonus!
But hold on, this brilliant scheme has a tiny speed bump.
The Bangkok Post reports that the “president and executives of the Thai Rice Millers Association have resigned, saying they have failed to help farmers and been unable to push up grain prices.”
President Manas Kitprasert had denied The Dictator’s allegations, saying “we’re not the ones who set paddy prices. That’s the role of exporters because they sell to end buyers…”.
But still brilliant! The junta can take over the associations and mill and expert rice itself!