NLA Wants More Vetting of 20-Year National Plans

A model for a proposed high-speed rail train in July 2017. Photo: Prachachat
A model for a proposed high-speed rail train in July 2017. Photo: Prachachat

BANGKOK — The junta-appointed assembly resolved Friday to set up a committee to vet the junta’s proposed 20-year strategic plans.

Instead of voting to adopt or reject the plans as expected today, the National Legislative Assembly punted on the decision and instead impaneled a 38-member committee to look into the details of the plans, which cover six areas.

An up-or-down vote was set for three weeks from now on July 7.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam told the assembly that having binding 20-year plans is appropriate for Thai society, as a new generation of Thai children will be born and grow up nurtured under future government policies that reflect the present junta’s plans.


“They will grow up along with various national strategic plans… They will become adults that will be secure, well-to-do and sustainable,” Wissanu said, adding that future elected governments should not become too concerned about being restricted under the plans, as there is room for adjustment it every five years.

He added that if the situation in the country and the world changed, the junta-appointed national strategic planning committee can inform the parliament and adjust the plan accordingly.

Wissanu stressed that the bill, if approved, would ensure that future governments cannot endorse policies that contravene the plans.

Penalty for politicians failing to stick to the plans include removal from office by the Constitutional Court.

The national plans cover six areas devised by committees entirely appointed by the junta: national security; national competitiveness; human resources development; social equality; the environment and quality of life.

Members of each six committees gave brief highlights of what can be expected.

They included plans to turn Thailand into a develop country within 20 years; stress peace and order at all levels of society; reinforce loyalty to the nation, state and the monarchy; and change Thai attitudes to be more disciplined, ethical and honest.

Other goals highlighted include spreading economic development to provincial and rural areas, promoting volunteerism, strengthening local communities, bridging income disparities, streamlining the state, supporting a green economy, reviving bio diversity and cleaning up waterways.

“What kind of best design do we want on Thais? Twenty years from now, Thais must be able and good,” Charnvit Phoncheewin, a member of the planning committee on human resources told the assembly.


Kobsak Pootrakool of the Prime Minister’s Office, told the assembly that the 20-year plans are needed in order to ensure continuity in policies, which is lacking in Thailand due to frequent changing of governments.

He added that no mega-projects can go ahead without such long-term planning.

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