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Anti-graft body to probe Thai caretaker PM Yingluck

Published on Jan 16, 2014 7:50 PM
Thai caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra attends a meeting on national reform at the Royal Thai Air Force headquarters in Bangkok on January 16, 2014. Thailand's anti-graft body on Thursday said it would probe Ms Yingluck over her government's rice purchase scheme --PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK - Thailand's anti-graft body on Thursday said it would probe caretaker premier Yingluck Shinawatra over its government rice purchase scheme, piling more pressure on a caretaker administration grappling with three-month-old street protests.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission on Thursday also decided to investigate former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom, who oversaw the two-year-old scheme. Ms Yingluck heads the National Rice Committee.

The probe is another blow to the dominant Puea Thai party already battered by a recent spate of negative judicial rulings.

The rice purchase scheme was a key Puea Thai election pledge in the 2011 election. Under the programme, the government bought rice from farmers at about 50 per cent above world prices, leading to a boost in production but a plunge in exports as Thai rice became too expensive. State warehouses are filled with tonnes of surplus rice.

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