Panadda: Rice inspection for possible irregularities to be complete late August


BANGKOK, July 10 —  An ongoing inspection of rice bought from farmers by the now defunct previous government under its rice-pledging scheme at warehouses nationwide was expected to be complete in late August, said Panadda Diskul, permanent secretary for Prime Minister’s Office on Thursday.

Speaking in his capacity as chief of the subcommittee tasked with government-owned rice quality inspection, Mr Panadda told journalists that all 100 rice inspection teams were putting in every effort in inspecting rice at all warehouses and silos.

The rice inspection is expected to complete late next month and its findings will be submitted to Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, army chief and leader of the National Council for Peace and Order, before being announced to the public, he said.

The in-depth inspection of rice quality was expected to be complete in September.

Mr Panadda said the Commerce Ministry would decide on selling rice from which warehouses to the public or traders because its quality could deteriorate if stored for too long.

Asked whether the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) could take legal action against cabinet ministers of the previous Yingluck Shinawatra government on charges of corruption, Mr Panadda said both the NACC and the Office of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission have the duty to take action, while his teams are responsible for inspecting rice quality.

He said the inspection has no duty to punish those involved with corruption in the rice-pledging programme.