Anti-graft body to probe Thai caretaker PM Yingluck
Published on Jan 16, 2014 7:50 PM
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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