ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Anti-corruption move for Thai rice scheme
In an attempt to prevent corruption in the rice mortgaging programme that will start on October 7, the Commerce Ministry will propose appointing a central surveyor to check quality and quantities of rice.
The government wanted to ensure no corruption, a common occurrence in previous mortgage schemes, so thorough checking would be conducted at all steps, said Poom Sarapol, a deputy commerce minister who chairs the sub-committee overseeing the operation of the mortgage programme.
In the past, corruption occurred at several steps and was said to have involved farmers, millers, silo operators, government officials and surveyors.
"We have done more homework and have investigated the corruption process," said Mr Poom.
Ad hoc committees and inspection teams would be appointed to regularly and randomly inspect the operations of rice millers.
Those found cheating would face serious legal charges. The mortgage programme of the Pheu Thai-led government replaces a price-guarantee scheme offered by its predecessor.
Under the programme, farmers will receive 20,000 baht a tonne for fragrant Hom Mali paddy and 15,000 baht for premium white rice paddy.
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