Agency challenged to conduct surprise checks on warehouses
Democrat Party's Pitsanulok MP Dr Warong Dejwikrom yesterday challenged the Public Warehouse Organisation (PW) to show up at a warehouse unannounced and prove that the rice stored there as part of the government's rice-pledging scheme has not spoiled.
Warong was speaking before the House Committee on Independent Agencies as part of its scrutiny into allegations that the organisation failed to store rice properly, causing it to rot.
PW's deputy director denied the allegation, saying all the rice is stored properly in sacks and sprayed with insecticide regularly until it is distributed to buyers. However, the official said, that with 11-12 per cent humidity rice can only be stored for a year and a half at the most and its quality will deteriorate by 10 per cent every year.
Warong said he suspected that there was systematic corruption in the scheme because rice millers and exporters worked together to export rice.
He said that in order to prove that PW is not storing rotten rice, it should show up unannounced at warehouses taking part in the scheme.
Some House committee members are also asking for an investigation into allegations that some ministers are getting millers to store imported rice to benefit from the rice-pledging scheme.