Permanent-Secretary for Commerce Yanyong Puangrach announced the policy after the Government’s Central Committee on Commodity and Service Prices met today, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Kittirat Na Ranong.
Mr Yanyong said the panel resolved to restrict the movement of over five tonnes of paddy rice in 24 provinces bordering neighbouring countries from October 1 with no set termination of the regulation.
The resolution bans transport of large amounts of unmilled rice without permission from the Committee Secretary-General or the Director-General of the Department of Internal Trade or their authorised agents.
The move is aimed to prevent fraud in the rice mortgage scheme to avoid damage which may cost to the state and impair the internal rice trade system, Mr Yanyong said. The newly-launched measure is not meant as a protectionist policy, he added, defending the decision.
Those found guilty of any unauthorised transport of rice can face up to five years in jail, and be fined B100,000, Mr Yanyong said, while false statement of amount of transported rice can lead to three years in prison and a B6,000 fine.
Mr Yanyong said rice traders and rice mills nationwide must report monthly with the commerce ministry if they hold over 15 tonnes of unmilled rice. Those violating the ban can face up to one year in jail and a B20,000 fine. –MCOT