BANGKOK, 28 Nov 2013 Deputy Commerce Minister Yanyong Phuangrach affirms the Government’s packed rice scheme has been carried out in transparency.
The comment came as a reply to the opposition’s accusation on irregularities of the packed rice program during the second day of the censure debate. Mr. Yanyong explained that the National Rice Committee, headed by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, had only approved the clearance of 700,000 tons of pledged rice.
He said another lot of 1.8 million tons was released by the sub-committee on rice clearance which is supervised by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan.
Mr. Yanyong further explained the reason behind the massive approval of rice clearance, saying that during the past couple of years rice supply to the local market had been depleted. He said the shortage prevented producers of packed rice from fulfilling their goal, adding that only 590,000 tons of rice had been approved for packed rice processing under his supervision.
The Deputy Commerce Minister also denied an Opposition claim that the Government opened a loophole for traders to take advantage of farmers by cheating on water content and weight of the pledged rice.