Cancellation signals Boonsong's exit
- Published: 28/06/2013 at 06:01 PM
- Online news:
Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom abruptly cancelled a meeting of the National Rice Policy Committee on Friday, signalling his expected departure from the cabinet.
A source said all of the minister's scheduled activities had been cancelled, including the committee meeting and a joint commission meeting between Thailand and the Maldives.
Officials came to collect documents and personal belongings of Mr Boonsong at his office at the Commerce Ministry, the source added.
The Rice Policy Committee meeting has been rescheduled for Monday. Members are expected to discuss a demand by farmers to scrap the planned reduction in rice pledging prices to 12,000 baht from 15,000 baht a tonne.
The reductions are scheduled to take effect from Monday, as the government seeks ways to reduce the huge losses it has run up from the pledging programme.
Mr Boonsong has been under fire, even from some Pheu Thai Party members and other ministers, for his management of the pledging programme.
He also has faced criticism from the opposition and the public for failing to offer details about the financial status of the scheme, which critics say is also mired in corruption.
He is expected to be moved out of the cabinet of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and replaced by PM's Office Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan.
Yanyong Phuangrach, who retired last year as the ministry's permanent secretary, is speculated to become a deputy commerce minister when the reshuffle is announced.