PM agrees to consider senator’s proposal to adjust public debt law
The Senate has signalled it will approve the emergency decree to loan another 500 billion baht for Covid-19 relief, but with caveats.
Senator Kamnoon Sittisamarn on Monday urged the government to take an alternative approach by amending the Public Debt Management Act to expand the emergency loan framework in the annual budget.
Kamnoon said he had previously opposed emergency loans under Democrat and Pheu Thai governments as they violated the 2007 Constitution and could not be scrutinised properly by Parliament. But he said he would support the latest loan decree under Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha’s government because it was permitted under the law and current Constitution.
Prayut said he would take the senator’s suggestion into consideration but added the government must carefully consider the situation and try to address it in a new way to avoid past mistakes.
Kamnoon also protested that the deadline for review of budget spending, which is 60 days after the fiscal year ends, is too late. Details of government borrowing and spending should be scrutinised more carefully so that the public would not have to bear the burden of debt, he added.
The government should also do more to support Thai traditional medicine, he said.
Most of the Senate – which was appointed under Prayut’s junta administration – say they will approve the 500-billion-baht borrowing decree.