Thailand: Loan decree debate timeline ‘too short’

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his cabinet will address parliament on why his government needs to issue three executive decrees backing loans of 1.97 trillion baht to pay for Covid-19 relief.

Chief government whip Wirat Rattanaset said on Wednesday the prime minister and his ministers will explain details of the decrees on May 27-29. The opposition says the timeframe for the debate is too short to ensure scrutiny of such important decrees, which will lead to the government taking on a large public debt. In case three days turns out to be insufficient, more time could be set aside the following week, he said.

Anudith Nakornthap, secretary-general of the Pheu Thai Party, said the debate will provide only 30 hours debate in total with the opposition getting only half that to scrutinise the decrees. “We will have to debate on decrees involving loans of up to 1.9ึ7 trillion baht in 15 hours, which means we will have to scrutinise 35 million baht of the loan every second, which is impossible,” he said.

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