Govt U-turns on land plan

The government is reportedly backing down from its plan to allow wealthy foreigners to purchase up to one rai of land for residential purposes in return for investments, after the proposal drew fierce criticism.

Chayawut Chanthorn, director of the Department of Land, said on Monday that Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon had approved the withdrawal of the Interior Ministry's draft regulation on land ownership by foreigners.

The draft regulation allows four groups of wealthy foreigners with a long-term resident visa to buy up to one rai of land for residential purposes, if they invest at least 40 million baht in the country for at least three years.

However, the policy, which is aimed at attracting more foreign investments to the country, has drawn flak from critics who accused the government of "selling off" the country.

Mr Chayawut said the Interior Ministry submitted a letter to Gen Prawit last week seeking to withdraw the proposal, and that Gen Prawit endorsed the request.

"The ministry decided to withdraw the draft regulation due to widespread public concerns and if the cabinet agrees with the decision, the ministry will take the chance to review it and decide if it will continue with or drop the proposal," he said.

Mr Chayawut's remarks followed media reports that Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda would ask the cabinet to withdraw the draft regulation on land ownership today.

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  • criticism: comments that show that you think something is wrong or bad - การวิจารณ์
  • draft: not in a final form and likely to be changed - ร่าง
  • endorse: to express support for something - แสดงความเห็นชอบ
  • fierce: very strong - รุนแรง, ดุเดือด
  • flak: criticism - การวิจารณ์, การต่อต้าน
  • policy (noun): a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group - นโยบาย
  • regulation: an official rule that controls the way that things are done - ระเบียบข้อบังคับ
  • residential: of a place where people live -
  • U-turn (noun): a complete change in policy or behaviour, usually one that is embarrassing; a turn of 180° that a vehicle makes so that it can move forwards in the opposite direction - การเปลี่ยนโดยสิ้นเชิง, การเลี้ยวหรือทางเลี้ยวเป็นรูปตัว "U"
  • wealthy: having a large amount of money, land, and other valuable things   - ที่มั่งคั่ง ร่ำรวย
  • withdraw: to no longer being involved in something - ถอนตัว
  • withdrawal: the act of no longer being involved in something - การถอนตัว,
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