Thai cabinet approves $659 million rubber subsidy scheme: spokesman

BANGKOK Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:57am EDT

Protesters face riot policemen as they come close to the airport in Surat Thani September 4, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Protesters face riot policemen as they come close to the airport in Surat Thani September 4, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha

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BANGKOK (Reuters) - The Thai cabinet has approved a 21.2 billion baht ($659 million) budget for subsidies for rubber farmers, double the amount initially proposed last week, a government spokesman said on Tuesday.

"The scheme would run from September and each household would be given 2,520 baht per rai (0.16 hectare)," Chalitrat Chandarubeksa told Reuters.

The government has faced protests from farmers over low prices and has offered the subsidy to help them at a time of depressed global demand, which is expected to hold market prices down.

($1 = 32.1650 Thai baht)

(Reporting by Pracha Hariraksapitak; Editing by Alan Raybould)

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