Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh has ordered Quang Nam Province to investigate 24 provincial officials for allegedly stealing 1,250 chickens intended to be given to poor farmers.
He said the result must be reported to Prime Minster Nguyen Tan Dung by the end of this month.
If the allegation against the officials is true, then they must be punished for the wrongdoing, he added.
The Quang Nam government on Tuesday ordered authorities of Que Son District to quickly investigate those involved in the scandal.
According to complaints from local farmers, the officials embezzled the chickens worth VND25 million (US$1,170) that they were supposed to give to poor farmers in Que Son District’s Que An Commune under a state-funded farming program last November.
Hoang Kim Minh, the chairman of Que An Commune People’s Committee, kept 200 chickens.
Tran Van Quyen, the commune’s Party chief, and Tran Ngoc, the chairman of the commune’s Farmers Association, and 19 others stole 50 chickens each.
So far, many embezzled chickens raised by the officials have grown up, and some were sold or slaughtered.
The case had stirred outrage among local farmers.