Pheu Thai letter details ‘irregularities’

PUBLISHED ON SAT, AUG 12, 2017 11:17 AM

Pheu Thai letter details ‘irregularities’





THE PHEU Thai Party has sent an open letter to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha urging the government to review recent sales of huge rice inventory resulting from the previous government’s rice-pledging scheme.

The letter highlights the lack of transparency and alleged irregularities in selling the inventory to the private sector, especially with regard to the classification method for various grades of rice held by the government in multiple privately owned warehouses.


The alleged irregularities have led to significant financial damage, while some warehouse operators also urged the government to review the bidding method. However, the letter says the government has so far ignored the call for change.


Pheu Thai said the existing measures are vulnerable to abuse by state officials and private businesses. 


First, most rice is classified as “low” or “C grade” without proper quality inspection. As a result, the rice cannot be sold as human food, which would get a higher price than selling for use as animal feed or for the energy sector.


Despite the classification as low grade, most warehouses said they have kept the rice in good condition and insisted that the quality remains suitable for human consumption.


Second, the letter says such a classification has resulted in a low bidding price for the inventory.


Third, some businessmen earlier offered to buy the rice at several warehouses at a relatively high price, but a government working group in charge of selling the rice was not interested. Instead, the working group decided to sell the rice to another firm at a lower price.


For example, there was an offer to buy 100 per cent Hom Mali rice totalling 14,000 tonnes at Bt11.25 per kilogram but it was turned down, according to the letter. This rice was sold to another bidder at Bt6.1 per kilogram. This was also opposed by the warehouse owner and other parties, but the working group did not make any change to the selling decision.


As a result, the government faced a bigger loss from selling the rice inventory.


Fourth, the letter says, some rice buyers do not have credible financial records. They could be nominees for other parties in bidding for the government’s rice inventory and this could lead to corruption. Pheu Thai said field inspection showed that the government could face more financial damage if these sales were not reviewed.


The prime minister, in his capacity as chairman of the national rice policy committee, should issue an order to thoroughly review the recent sales of rice owned by the government, insisted the letter. In addition, it should cancel the sales of rice to the feedmill or energy sectors if it were suitable for human consumption.




-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-08-12
latest news from Thailand

Visa overstayer alleges extortion of Bt600,000By The Nation  A Syrian man has filed a complaint with the Justice Ministry, alleging that a group of foreigners and Lumpini police had extorted money from him. Alhalabee Yasser met Pol Colonel Dusadee Arayawut, deputy permanent secretary for justice,...


Prayut show in full flow during the two-day Cabinet meetingBy WASAMON AUDJARINT NATTAPAT PROMKAEW THE NATION PM Prayut talks to the frog. “I’M NOT like those corrupt politicians. I’m not a politician. I’m only here to help end a political stalemate.” This is what Prime Minister General Prayut...


Prayut questions whether media serving public interest by not reporting on ministers’ workBy The Nation  Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on the sidelines of the mobile Cabinet meeting in Nakhon Ratchasima province on Tuesday that while he was not angry with the media who refused to cover his...


Police seize fake Man U merchandise in Sa Kaew  Police in Sa Kaew province raided a shop at a border market on Tuesday and seized 1,327 pirated pieces of Manchester United Football Club merchandise worth about Bt600,000. The raid was conducted after police in Khlong Luek district were alerted by...