PM clarifies 'high-speed veggie trains'
- Published: 29/03/2013 at 03:05 PM
- Online news:
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has clarified her explanation to parliament of the benefits of developing a high-speed train network and the gains for farmers, in a post on her Facebook page Friday.
This image of workers loading goods onto a train operated by freight management company Geodis Wilson was posted on Ms Yingluck's Facebook page, along with her message clarifying comments about transporting fresh vegetables by high-speed trains.
The prime minister on Thursday told parliament during the debate on the two-trillion-baht loan bill for infrastructure megaprojects that the high-speed train would help develop the economies of provinces along the border.
It would also help farmers reduce transport costs and increase profits as the speeding trains could get vegetables to markets while they were still very fresh.
Her comments were widely criticised by the opposition in the House and by netizens, with only part of her remarks being quoted - "investing in high-speed trains to transport vegetables".
On her Facebook page, Ms Yingluck said transportation of goods via high-speed train was part of the plan to boost the future economy.
Part of this plan involves adding value to farm produce that requires quick transport to market to ensure high quality and freshness, which results in higher returns for farmers. She said such practices are common in many countries. Thailand, for example, had for a long time been transporting flowers to market by air.
Ms Yingluck said the Euro Carex express cargo system was being developed specifically to transport goods by high-speed trains in Europe.
"This is not a dream, it has already happened in several countries. It will help farmers export agricultural items with high-standard requirements such as vegetables, fruits and flowers," the prime minister's post said.
She said the high-speed trains will connect production areas in provinces to countries in Asean, which would help increase the value of both industrial and agricultural goods when they reach the markets and consumers.
It would also help reduce commuting times for passengers, particularly people in the provinces, allowing them more time with their families.
"I see that there is a distortion of my comments for political purposes, rather than thinking about the benefits for the people.
"This is non-constructive and it's an insult to farmers who should benefit from this project. The high-speed train should be a tool to provide equal opportunities and truly reduce the [wealth] gap," she said at the end of the post on Facebook.
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Writer: Online Reporters