Sunday, August 20, 2017 - 7:39:52

Thailand: former PM Yingluck to pay for rice scheme

VNA Print

Thailand’s former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (Source: Kyodo/VNA)

Thailand’s former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and some former Cabinet members will have to pay 510 billion THB (14.3 billion USD) in compensation for the losses incurred by the rice subsidy scheme, Thai Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam said on September 18.

The involved former Cabinet members are former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom, ex-deputy commerce minister Phoom Sarapol and Manas Soythong, former director general of the Foreign Trade Department.

According to Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam, two investigative committees are expected to complete investigation files for the case by the end of this month and submitted reports to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who will order the compensation committee to decide the payment for each of the involved.

Yingluck and other former Cabinet members will have 30 days to file their appeal against the order to the Administrative Court.

The rice-buying scheme introduced by PM Yingluck Shinawatra in 2011 paid farmers above the market price for their rice, making it uncompetitive in world markets.

The government has found it difficult to sell the rice and the programme has run into funding problems, leaving many farmers waiting months for payment.

Earlier this year, 190 out of 219 legislators in Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly (NLA) on January 23 voted for impeaching Yingluck for negligence of duty over the rice pledging scheme, as well as the economic losses it made to the country.

With the decision, Yingluck is banned from politics for five years and thus be unable to contest the next general election expected in 2016.-VNA
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