Senators seek court ruling on government’s rice sales

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BANGKOK, Oct 16 – A group of 67 senators on Tuesday petitioned the Senate speaker seeking a Constitution Court ruling as to whether the Thai government’s rice sales under its government-to-government (G-to-G) deals violate the constitution.

Senator Paiboon Nititawan, representing a group of 67 senators, said the contracts to sell 7.32 million tonnes of rice worth more than Bt114 billion under the government’s rice pledging scheme is likely to cause a loss of as much as Bt44 billion to the state coffers.

The contracts might also affect national economic stability for incurring a large public debt and could lead to monetary and financial crises in the long run, he said.

The court ruling is sought as to whether the contracts need parliamentary approval under Article 190 of the constitution, Mr Paiboon said.

First Deputy Senate Speaker Surachai Liangboonlertchai received the petition, saying the documents would be examined before being forwarded to the Constitution Court for deliberation.