Long-term national strategy bill sails through NLA first reading

PUBLISHED ON FRI, APR 21, 2017 12:05 PM

Long-term national strategy bill sails through NLA first reading





BANGKOK: -- THE NATIONAL Legislative Assembly yesterday passed the national strategy bill in its first reading and went into executive session to pass the Royal Administration Act in three straight readings.


The strategy bill was approved for vetting by 196 votes with three abstentions.


Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam represented the Cabinet, which proposed the bill, to explain its principles to the legislators, saying the government was mandated by the new Constitution to complete the law within 120 days after its promulgation.


It takes top priority above any other plans and all agencies must comply or they will face legal consequences, he said.

“Such a plan to lay out a long-term national strategy for the next 20 years is indeed advantageous.


“It lets us see successive national development plans and makes it easy for budget allocations and investments,” he told the NLA meeting.


There would be sufficient public hearings on the bill. This was in line with Article 77 of the Constitution, which stipulates that agencies listen to the opinions of those affected by legislation or schemes, he said.


Some 15 representatives of the NLA spoke on the bill, raising four areas of concern. The prime concern centred on the proposed national strategy committee, which some NLA members referred to as a super board.


They questioned the diversity of the board’s composition and proposed that experts in legal, labour and international affairs be included.


Others wondered why top security brass such as the chiefs of the four military branches and the police had to sit on the board.

Wissanu said these senior officers would help oversee security issues addressed in the national strategy.


As for diversity, the working committees would lay out the actual national strategy plans and more experts could be brought in to provide inputs, he said.


The NLA members also extensively questioned public participation.


Wissanu said participation of the public was given considerable thought. They would be able to participate twice: first, when the strategy was completed, and then when it was revisited based on opinions in the first round. He said more participation would not be practical due to the limited timeframe.


The other two areas were the details of strategies and the timeframe of 20 years.


Wissanu responded that they were flexible and could be revised by the super board according to the changing circumstances.

A committee of 33 members, six representing the Cabinet, would scrutinise the bill for up to 60 days before it went through a second reading.


A source said the Royal Administration Act was part of the re-composition of some royal agencies, including the office of the Privy Council. The restructuring was for better administration, the source said.


Porpnpetch Wichitcholchai, president of the NLA, declined to give interviews on the matter, saying the meeting was confidential.


Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30312848

-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-04-21
latest news from Thailand

Higher spending by people in Vegetarian Festival Oct 20-28  The vegetarian festival this year is expected to see more people observing the festival and higher spending than the previous year. According to a survey by the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Thai Vegetarian Festival which...


Air passengers advised to leave early for Don Mueang airport  Air passengers who are scheduled to fly from Don Mueang airport on Saturday (Oct 14) have been advised to leave at least one and a half hours  for travelling as many spots of Bangkok have been flooded, said Don Mueang airport director...


Junta rule and lack of adequate reform have hurt economy, say academicsBy WICHIT CHAITRONG THE SUNDAY NATION Mana Nimitmongkol ALTHOUGH the Thai economy has changed a lot since the era of the student-led uprising of October 14, 1973 some key things remain largely the same and have become a drag on...


Royal ex-officer lauds spirit of 1973By The Sunday Nation File photo: Pol General Vasit Dejkunjorn Urges student to pay greater role of country's welfare AS A ROYAL Court Security police officer in touch with young and energetic students protesting against the military government of General Thanom...