Opposition party to petition anti-corruption body on shady rice deal

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BANGKOK, June 4 – The Democrat Party will file a complaint with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) June 10 against the government for unscrupulous rice distribution under the state subsidy programme.

Warong Dechgitvigrom, Democrat MP from Phitsanulok, said the NACC would be asked to check the rice distribution on Dec 21, 2011 which was conducted without transparency – a controversy which he raised in the House of Representatives debate on the 2014 Budget Bill last week.

He will also call on the NACC to investigate rice deals by the 10-member Rice Distribution Sub-committee, led by former deputy commerce minister Poom Sarapol, and the National Rice Policy Committee (NRPC).

The NRPC is chaired by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong, formerly commerce minister, is one of the members.

Dr Warong said the opposition party would ask the NACC to further investigate the rice distribution scheme under Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom’s administration and civil servants implicated in the case.

He said the Democrat Party had earlier filed a complaint against political appointees in the rice distribution scandal but “we are aware that the shady deals could not be carried out unless civil servants and businessmen lent a hand.”

He said he has condensed the complicated rice distribution controversy into a two-minute video animation to be publicised via social media while a third round of parliamentary debate on the highly-criticised rice pledging scheme will be held soon.