Farmers and passenger van operators have been rallying separately in front of the Agriculture and Transport ministries since this morning (Tuesday) to demand government help.
Farmer groups, associated with the Farmers’ Federation of Thailand, led by the federation’s advisor Yossawat Chaiwattanasirikul, are demanding that the government set aside about 1.4 billion baht from the Central Fund for the Farmer Rehabilitation and Development Fund (FRDF), to be used for refinancing farmers’ debts to four state banks.
Yossawat claimed that the cabinet had approved the refinancing program for farmers on March 22nd last year, but funds have not been allocated to the FRDF.
Meanwhile, dozens of passenger vans parked in front of the Transport Ministry on Ratchadamnoen Road as the van operators from various organisations demand that the operating life of all the vans should be capped equally at 13 years.
They also claim that the Transport Ministry’s order that all passenger vans should be switched to mini buses, fitted with GPS, is not feasible, unfair and unaffordable for most of them.
They said that they plan to submit a petition to the transport minister and then travel to Government House to submit another petition to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
The Transport Ministry has already extended the operating life of passenger vans from 10 to 12 years, excluding vehicles which are not roadworthy or unsafe.