Public Warehouse challenged to conduct random inspections of rice
The Democrat MP for Pitsanulok, Dr Warong Dejwikrom, on Thursday challenged the Public Warehouse Organisation to inspect rice in warehouses without prior notice to prove that the organisation has no degraded rice stored in the rice pledging scheme.
Warong was speaking before the House committee on Independent Agency as part of its scrutiny into the allegation that the Public Warehouse Organisation (PW) has failed to manage rice storage, causing rice in the rice pledging scheme to become rotten or degraded.
The PW deputy director denied that the agency had failed to maintain the quality of rice, saying that all rice was properly kept in sacks and sprayed with insecticide until distributed to buyers. However, rice with 1112 per cent humidity can be kept only one year and a half at the most as its quality would deteriorate by ten per cent every year.
Warong said he suspected that there had been systematic corruption in the scheme because rice millers and exporters worked together to export rice.
He said to prove that the PW does not store rotten rice, it must carry out random inspections at warehouses participating in the scheme.
Some House committee members have asked the committee to investigate allegations that some ministers have contracted rice millers to store rice imported from neighbouring countries to benefit from the rice pledging scheme.