110 projects un­der govt stim­u­lus plan cleared of graft

Bangkok Post - - NATIONAL - POST RE­PORTERS

More than 100 projects im­ple­mented un­der the state’s 9101 eco­nomic stim­u­lus scheme have been cleared of al­leged ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties, a se­nior agri­cul­ture of­fi­cial said.

Som­chai Charn­narongkul, chief of the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­tural Ex­ten­sion, said of 132 com­plaints, 110 projects have al­ready been in­ves­ti­gated and cleared of graft while 21 others are be­ing probed.

He said only one project, a com­mu­nity farm­ing project in Kanchanaburi’s Tha Maka dis­trict, is found to be plagued with ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties and a com­plaint was filed with po­lice against those in­volved.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched af­ter the depart­ment re­ceived com­plaints via com­plaint cen­tres.

The com­plaints were lodged against 132 projects in 37 provinces, which ac­counts for 0.55% of all the projects im­ple­mented un­der the scheme.

Agri­cul­ture and Co­op­er­a­tives Min­is­ter Chatchai Sarikulya said the scheme is the min­istry’s flag­ship project where com­mu­ni­ties de­sign and im­ple­ment the projects. The gov­ern­ment pro­vides sup­port.

A to­tal of 24,152 projects have been im­ple­mented un­der a bud­get of 19.7 bil­lion baht, Mr Som­chai said, adding that the min­istry is do­ing its best to keep the scheme free of cor­rup­tion.

The scheme, which is aimed to help low­in­come farm­ers de­velop their own busi­nesses, was launched af­ter the cab­i­net in July ap­proved a 22.8-bil­lion-baht bud­get for the project.

Un­der the scheme, com­mu­ni­ties na­tion­wide will each re­ceive a 2.5-million-baht in­vest­ment to en­cour­age agri­cul­tural busi­nesses in eight ar­eas in­clud­ing com­mu­nity farm­ing, fertiliser mak­ing, fish­ing, food pro­duc­tion and pro­cess­ing.

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