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Opposition To Hand Evidence Of Rice Irregularities To NACC
Source: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/324207/opposition-to-hand-evidence-of-rice-irregularities-to-nacc
Source Date: Monday, December 03, 2012
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs
Country: Thailand
Created: Dec 02, 2012

The Democrat Party will submit evidence of alleged corruption in the government's rice pledging scheme to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) today.

Democrat list-MP Ong-art Klampaibul said Sunday that he and Warong Dechgitvigrom, Democrat MP for Phitsanulok, would represent the opposition in asking the anti-graft agency to investigate the allegations.

Mr Ong-art said that despite the censure debate last week, where the government was grilled on reports of widespread graft in the rice scheme, no action had been taken by the ruling Pheu Thai Party to look into the allegations.

The Democrat MP said alleged corruption in the government's rice pledging scheme had occurred at three levels_the rice pledging registration, rice storage, and selling of rice from the government warehouses. He said if the government fails to address the allegations soon, corruption will continue to cast a shadow over the controversial scheme.

The opposition will urge the NACC to look into complaints by residents in the Northeast that money from the scheme had been channelled only to people with ties to Pheu Thai members and key red shirts, Mr Ong-art said.

The opposition party on Saturday also demanded the government present documents to prove it had sealed a rice export deal with Beijing, after the Chinese ambassador to Thailand said the agreement had only been reached in principle.

The government has claimed it sold 5 million tonnes of pledged rice to China under a government-to-government (G-to-G) deal.

Mr Ong-art said the government must back its claims by producing copies of the G-to-G agreement contracts, customs export documents and receipts.

The opposition gave the government until today to produce the documents, he said, without stating what would happen if they were not presented.

Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit said the party would set up its own committee to look into the accusations of corruption made against the government during last week's censure debate.

The committee will then forward the results of the investigation to state agencies, he said.

But Democrat spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut dismissed the Pheu Thai inquiry panel as merely a token gesture.

He said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra should instruct the NACC to investigate allegations of graft based on information provided by the opposition instead.
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