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Yingluck’s rice-pledging scheme racked up staggering losses, massive debts, tonnes of rotting rice: Anucha

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The rice-pledging scheme under former PM Yingluck Shinawatra’s 2011-2014 government incurred losses of up to 500 billion baht, the government announced on Sunday.

The scheme also piled up debts worth 100 billion baht with the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) and left more than 200,000 tonnes of rice rotting in granaries.

Anucha Burapachaisri, deputy secretary on political affairs to the prime minister, told reporters that this government has been left to shoulder the 100 billion baht debt owed to BAAC.

He said the Budget Bureau plans to earmark 10-20 per cent of the national budget to cover the bill, which will take up to five years to clear.

He added that the rice-pledging scheme will eventually be wrapped up once all the rice in storage is released, though 200,000 tonnes of it is not even fit for animal consumption.

The government aims to close all accounts related to the scheme within next year.

Anucha said the state has lost more than 500 billion baht from corruption related to the rice-pledging scheme and some 1,143 graft-related lawsuits are in court.

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Published : December 13, 2021

By : THE NATION