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Reshuffle should halt graft: Prayuth

NATIONAL COUNCIL for Peace and Order (NCPO) chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha yesterday defended the junta's mass bureaucratic reshuffle over the past few days, saying the changes had been made for suitability and not to bully bureaucrats or any government sectors.

Prayuth pleaded for cooperation and respect from all those concerned to work together for the country.

"We affirm there will be no corruption, extortion or demanding of kickbacks for one single baht. Anyone who has heard of or directly encounters such deeds, please notify us and we will investigate and punish culprits immediately," he said.

Prayuth said the NCPO decided to set up a committee on rice policy and management to seek ways to reduce farmers' costs. The committee would also oversee domestic and international issues concerning rice. The NCPO would help the committee clear any legal obstacles to pave the way for the committee to tackle problems facing farmers fully before an interim government is set up.

"If the issues involve changing major laws, the matter will be [submitted to] the National Legislative Assembly for consideration. Issues with a major impact on the public will be scrutinised by the Reform Council," he said.

The NCPO on Monday removed permanent secretaries of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry and the Transport Ministry.

Mingquan Wichayarangsaridh replaces Chote Trachu at the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry while Soithip Trisuddhi replaces Somchai Siriwatanachoke at Transport.

Suthichai Sangkhamanee was transferred as Department of Revenue director-general to be an inspector-general for the Finance Ministry and replaced by Prasong Poontaneat.

Meanwhile, Pravit Khiengpol was transferred as director-general of the Department of Employment to be an inspector-general of the Labour Ministry and replaced by Sumet Mahosot.

Jatuporn Buruspat has been appointed director-general of the Department of Water Resources while Pavinee Punnakanta replaces him as director-general of the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion.

Hannarong Yaowalers, who chairs the Foundation for Integrated Water Management, criticised the NCPO's recent reshuffle in the ministry, saying it had failed to put the right person in the right job.

He said that although Mingquan was competent to manage toxic waste, she may not be able to tackle environmental issues, judging from her previous record.

He said that when Mingquan served as secretary-general of the Office of Natural Resources and Environment Policy and Planning, she had failed to revamp the Environment Impact Assessment procedures.

"She did not have the courage to initiate any changes but only to receive policies from the minister," he added.


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