Caretaker PM Yingluck summoned to acknowledge charges in rice subsidies


BANGKOK, Feb 18 – Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) unanimously decided today to summon caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to acknowledge charges of neglect of duty regarding the rice pledging scheme.

Ms Yingluck, in her capacity as chairperson of the National Rice Policy Committee, must appear before the NACC on Feb 27.

The charges relate to heavy financial losses to the state of as much as Bt200 billion (some US$ 6 billion) according to the NACC.

Vicha Mahakhun, a NACC member, said there is sufficient evidence and witnesses clearly pointing to Ms Yingluck’s awareness of corruption in the rice subsidy programme and rice distribution.

She had received a letter from NACC warning her that the rice subsidies would lead to massive corruption at every step in the process, he said.

Her failure to stop corruption has severely damaged the country and the NACC will investigate the case, said Mr Vicha, adding that Ms Yingluck had also received a warning letter from the Office of the Auditor General which told her to stop the project but she insisted on continuing it.

She was also informed of corruption in the rice pledging programme during parliamentary debates and from reports on the rice subsidy operations, supplied to her by chairman of the subcommittee on paddy pledging scheme, that the subsidies had created Bt200 billion in damages while many farmers did not receive payment.

Mr Vicha said Ms Yingluck has intentionally neglected her duty which has caused damage to the country and led to corruption.