Govt reform push 'window-dressing'

Govt reform push 'window-dressing'

Opposition parties have slammed the military-backed government for failing to clarify how its national reform plans will benefit people after spending more than 1.7 billion baht drafting them over the past five years.

Some projects were no more than the "routine work" of state agencies rather than new attempts to develop the country, said the parties, as they responded to a report on reform progress during the House session on Wednesday.

The politicians, including some from the new government camp, shook their heads in disappointment after listening to Thotsaphon Sirisamphan, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council, who said the reform, announced on April 6 last year, was currently in a process of "adjustment" before further action is taken.

Up to 14,865 jobs in the 11 areas of reform, covering political, economic and social issues, appeared to Pheu Thai MP for Nan Chonlanan Srikaew as to lack clarity and progress despite five years of brainstorming.

Dr Chonlanan said he learned the government is preparing to hire consultants to help improve laws, but argued this would be a waste of money because the work can be done by state agencies.

The opposition was unhappy to hear the government intended to spend more pushing ahead with the reforms.

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), which staged the coup in 2014, cited a need for reform before the general election and poured 1.7 billion baht into the establishment of two reform councils and 11 reform committees.

"But now I feel sorry when I see these efforts," Future Forward party-list MP Sirikanya Tansakun said.

Some projects seemed to resemble officials' regular jobs like "reducing garbage at state agencies and planting chemical-free vegetables," she claimed.

Also on Wednesday Dr Chonlanan, with support from 101 MPs, petitioned House Speaker Chuan Leekpai to ask the Constitutional Court to consider whether Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha should serve as premier, saying his status as NCPO chief may violate the charter.


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