Panadda disappointed with rice stocks

Rampant corruption is clearly evident in the storage of government rice after just two days of a nationwide audit, says ML Panadda Diskul, permanent secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office.

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ML Panadda, who heads the audit exercise for the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), said inspections so far indicated that past checks of government rice stocks had been done carelessly and some reports were false.

The latest round of inspections that started on Thursday found large amounts of rice were missing. The teams also found good rice replaced with bad grain, rotten rice at some locations, skipped fumigation routines and uncategorised piles of rice stacked up to obstruct examination, ML Panadda wrote on his Facebook page.

“Why are the systems of the nation like this? There is no good governance in management and trouble was caused to farmers,” he wrote.

The full inspection of government rice stocks will take at least a month. Stocks have soared to 18 million tonnes from their normal level of about 5 million as the rice-pledging scheme of the past government encouraged farmers to sell to the state at unrealistically high prices, which later crippled Thailand's ability to sell its grain profitably in global markets.

The stock inspections will lead to a rice release plan in the near future.

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