Proper budget scrutiny will keep parliament in check | Bangkok Post: opinion

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Proper budget scrutiny will keep parliament in check

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  • Newspaper section: News
  • Writer: Somchai Jitsuchon
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There has been a lot of talk about various kinds of national reform, even before the call for "reform before election" by the People's Democratic Reform Council. The military junta also promises to set up a "reform council" that is supposed to gather and sort out reform proposals. 

I also want to get on this reform bandwagon by continuing one of my own proposals which I discussed on Feb 19 ("Helping lawmakers hold policies up to the light") in this newspaper. In that article, I wrote about a new initiative to strengthen democracy in this country through the establishment of a unit that helps members of parliament analyse the fiscal impacts of the government's proposed annual budget or of some particular policy.

The analysis could be the estimation of a policy's fiscal cost, such as the cost of the rice-pledging scheme, or the overall economic impacts of the annual budget. It would strengthen democracy because the legislative branch is, in comparison to the executive, usually less equipped with analytical capability due to unequal access to fiscal data or lack of analytical and technical support.

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