20-year National Strategy comes into effect

20-year National Strategy comes into effect

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha gestures as he talks about the National Strategy at a forum held at Impact Munagthong Thani in Nonthaburi provinces on Sept 27 this year. (Government House photo)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha gestures as he talks about the National Strategy at a forum held at Impact Munagthong Thani in Nonthaburi provinces on Sept 27 this year. (Government House photo)

The first National Strategy has taken effect, with the aim of turning Thailand into a developed country by 2037.

The announcement was published in the Royal Gazette on Saturday, with immediate effect.

The 72-page document was drafted by panels appointed by the National Council for Peace and Order and endorsed by the cabinet in early June. The National Legislative Assembly approved it a month later.

Through its visions on “stability, prosperity and sustainability”, Thailand will become a developed country through developments based on the sufficiency economy philosophy.

On stability, Thailand will be safe from threats and changes at home and abroad in all dimensions -- economy, society, environment and politics. It also underscores reconciliation and unity, as well as security in life, jobs, incomes, food, energy and water.

On prosperity, the economy will grow steadily and join the world’s group of high-income countries. Development disparities will decrease, giving way to equality. On competitiveness, the country will be a regional hub in transport, production, trade and investment. All forms of capital -- human resources, intellectual, financial and others -- will be available and can be developed further.

On sustainability, the focus is on developments that can increase people’s incomes and quality of life without excessive use of natural resources and pollution. Production and consumption must also be environmentally friendly and people will be socially responsible. All parties must adhere to the sufficiency economy philosophy.    

The visions can be achieved by balancing security and economic, social and environmental developments. All parties will participate in the “Pracharat” manner through six strategies.

They are the strategies on security; competitiveness enhancements; human resource development; creation of opportunities and social equality; environmentally friendly growth; and public-sector readjustments.  

According to the 2017 constitution, all government agencies and public organisations must comply with the master plans and budget allocations must be in line with them.

Any policy proposed by a political party must be within the national strategic framework. A government’s policy statement or budget allocations must also be in compliance with it.

Senators, who will be largely appointed by the junta after the general election and whose term will cover at least two elected governments, are also tasked with monitoring compliance with the strategy.

Compliance will be monitored by the committee, which will inform the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) if it sees a non-compliance. The NACC will then consider the case and if any agency is found guilty of malfeasance, its chief may face suspension from public offices or from position, expulsion or a jail term. 

The national strategy will be reviewed every five years and may be changed when the situations at the global or national levels warrant it but a parliamentary review must be sought first.

The National Strategy Committee comprises the prime minister; speakers of the Houses and the Senate; a deputy prime minister or minister; Defence permanent secretary; chiefs of the armed forces, army, navy, air force and police; secretary general of the National Security Council; chairman of the National Economic and Social Development Board; heads of the Board of Trade, Federation of Thai Industries, Tourism Council of Thailand and Thai Bankers Association.

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