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NLA channels Bt12.7m into junta schemes

Jul 14. 2018
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By The Nation

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The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) on Friday voted unanimously to reallocate the national budget of nearly Bt13 billion from government agencies to the common funds for the junta-initiated grand schemes, the 20-year national strategy and the Pracharat policy.

The coup-installed legislature voted 183 with no opposition to pass a budget transfer act to fund the junta’s policies. Bt10 billion would be allocated for the controversial 20-year national strategy. Another Bt2.7 billion would go to a Pracharat fund to give to low-income earners who make less than Bt100,000 a year.

The bill would be forwarded to the Cabinet to seek royal endorsement.

The national strategy passed the NLA earlier this month amid strong criticism that it had been drafted by the post-coup government with limited public participation, while it would have power over government policymaking over the next 20 years. Politicians have also threatened before that they would try to overturn the strategy after the election which had been planned for next year.

The Pracharat policy, meanwhile, is equally controversial. Initiated by the junta, the scheme is viewed widely by critics as no different from the populist policies from previous governments.

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