NESDC ordered to rejig strategies

NESDC ordered to rejig strategies

Proposed revisions due in September

Transforming U-tapao airport into an aviation hub is among the projects supported under the 20-year national strategy plan. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)
Transforming U-tapao airport into an aviation hub is among the projects supported under the 20-year national strategy plan. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

The state planning unit, the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), has been ordered to revise the 20-year national strategy (2018-37) and the 12th national economic and social development plan (2017-21) to keep abreast of changing social and economic trends caused by the global economic slowdown and the pandemic.

The latest meeting of the National Strategy Committee chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha last week ordered the NESDC to revise the master plan for the first five years (2019-23) under the 20-year strategic plan.

The national strategy, which came into force on Oct 13, 2018, has 23 master plans. Under those plans, there are 15 urgent flagship projects that must be implemented during 2019-23.

The 15 projects are split into several groups: social and economic restructuring in an effort to increase competitiveness; upgrading Thais' skills; projects that can create a balance between social and economic growth; infrastructure projects that can drive long-term economic growth; and projects that can generate income to create sustainable growth.

The first five years (2019-23) of development are based on requirements set under the national strategic plan. Gross national income per capita is targeted to increase by an average of 70,000 baht a year to reach 360,000 baht in 2023, up from 290,000 baht in 2019.

Growth in agriculture, industry and services/other is targeted at 3.8%, 4.6% and 5.4%, respectively, in the 12th national plan.

Secretary-general Thosaporn Sirisamphand said the NESDC is scheduled to propose a revised plan by September.

"The government is maintaining the goals of the 20-year strategy plan, with only the means and ways of development subject to change," Mr Thosaporn said.

Danucha Pichayanan, NESDC's deputy secretary-general, said the 20-year strategic plan already took into account the possible impact of new diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers).

But the impact of Covid-19 is deeper and projected to last a long time, causing problems much more complicated than those of Sars and Mers.

Covid-19 also struck while the global economy was already slowing down.

Mr Danucha said rehabilitating the economy may take a while, and some business sectors may encounter more difficulty resuming their previous healthy growth, especially automotive, aviation and tourism.

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