Seven cooperatives face audit for 'flaws'

Seven cooperatives face audit for 'flaws'

Mananya raises poor management fears

Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Mananya Thaiset
Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Mananya Thaiset

Mananya Thaiset, deputy minister of agriculture and cooperatives, has ordered the Cooperative Promotion Department (CPD) to examine the financial status of major member-run organisations suspected of irregularities or flawed management.

Ms Mananya said a team of auditors has been asked to look into the accounts and transactions of these cooperatives to ensure proper action is taken before damages occur.

She said seven major savings cooperatives are "at risk" and the CPD needs to assess their financial health and risks associated with the management of each group.

According to Ms Mananya, cooperatives with irregularities should be closed.

CPD director-general Pichet Wiriyapaha said savings cooperatives with assets worth more than 5 billion baht will be examined. He said some may have made unsound investments and have management problems.

The names of the cooperatives were not revealed.

Mr Pichet said the minister is concerned about how financial problems could affect cooperative members and wants problems fixed as soon as possible.

He said CPD deputy director-general Wisit Srisuwan has been assigned to head the audit team and initial findings are expected in one week.

Mr Pichet also said the CPD has drawn up a plan to help 86 cooperatives negotiate with Thai Airways International (THAI) over debt settlements after the national carrier filed for bankruptcy protection with the Central Bankruptcy Court.

He said the department's intervention should help these cooperatives, whose combined investments in the airline are estimated at 43 billion baht, prepare for the negotiations.

The Cooperative Association of Thailand (CAT) and the Cooperative League of Thailand (CLT) will lay down guidelines for the talks while the Department of Legal Execution (DLE) will advise the groups on how to get the best deals.

On this note, Ms Mananya said all of the 86 cooperatives are urged to take a collective stance in the negotiation process to increase their bargaining power.

When asked about a possible haircut, she said while this approach is unlikely, the cooperatives will appoint representatives to see through the airline's rehabilitation plan set to be heard in court in August.

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