Reformers near end of public hearings, say some parts of charter draft need tweaking

Reformers near end of public hearings, say some parts of charter draft need tweaking

The National Reform Council (NRC) is near the end of a five-day nationwide public survey on the charter draft that ends tomorrow.

After attending a public hearing in Chiang Mai on Saturday, Paiboon Nalinthrangkurn, an NRC member specialising in economic issues, revealed that certain areas of the charter had to be amended.

The Thai capital market should be equipped with a policy that helps it to organise and provide financial literacy to the general public, he said.

The capital market must be strengthened and regulations concerning the stock market that create unnecessary barriers should be amended. He also said a compulsory system for pensions should be introduced.

Somchai Richupan, chairman of the NRC |economic, financial and fiscal reform committee, said it was up to him to submit the proposal to amend the charter draft.

The group will proceed to making individual suggestions that will be assembled and discussed on May 12. The group will then submit its proposals for amendments to Borwornsak Uwanno, chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), on May 22.

As for the social aspect of the reforms, the proposal for the amendments is already half completed, according to NRC member Poldej Pinprateep, who said he and his NRC colleagues, Ampol Chindawattana and Chirmsak Pinthong, were nearly finished writing the document.

Some of the suggestions have already been collected and are awaiting a meeting of the NRC group on social issues on Wednesday to reach final conclusions before submitting it to the CDC chairman.

Poldej said he expects 30 topics to be presented to the CDC chairman. For his part, Poldej has prepared ten issues relating to social and state administration to discuss with other NRC members on Wednesday.

"In the suggestions for the amendment made by the NRC on the issue related to the intention of the constitution, I believe that the CDC will |listen and consider [our proposal]," said Poldej, who was referring to the fact that the NRC suggestions were crucial with regard to whether or not the charter draft is adopted in the final analysis.

As for the issue of overwhelming power of the National Ethics Assembly to control the political system, some of the NRC members will present suggestions that will limit the National Ethics Assembly's power to review or investigate individuals within the framework of ethics and the moral code.

A suggestion will also be made to add a control mechanism that will monitor and scrutinise the work of the National Ethics Assembly. The watchdog agency has been envisaged to use the Office of the Auditor General and the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

This |suggestion regarding the power of the NEA has become controversial as the assembly was given the authority to scrutinise politicians and the entire political system without having a clear benchmark on the scope of ethics and morals.

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