Shinawatra-initiated funds under scrutiny

Yingluck is set to defend herself against negligence charges linked to a controversial rice subsidy scheme that could lead to her removal from office and a ban from politics.

Under its latest plan, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) will scrutinise the Village Fund initiated during the Thaksin Shinawatra administration and the Thai Women Empowerment Fund started by the Yingluck Shinawatra government.

If the funds are proven to be useful, they will be continued.

The NCPO has made combating corruption, bridging disparities, keeping a cap on debt and observing financial discipline its priorities. It is putting special emphasis on five key issues.

These are: paying farmers for rice pledged under the populist scheme; eradicating red tape so factories can swiftly obtain operation licences to boost investment; expediting the 2014 fiscal budget disbursement (Bt7 billion has yet to be paid); starting dual rail systems and mass transit systems in Bangkok and its suburbs; completing the 2015 fiscal budget by September.

In the document obtained by The Nation, the council has also tasked government agencies to bridge wealth disparities by reviewing the income tax structure to increase the burden on the rich and get more people to pay tax.

It also wants to boost border trade by establishing special economic zones and promote the development of products for export. A sustainable support system to help farmers will also be set up.

On the legal front, an interim charter will be legislated, an interim government will be set up under martial law, a legislative assembly will be established and an election will be called.

Meanwhile, the NCPO's economic focus will be on encouraging free-market systems and allowing the private sector to drive the economy. Efforts will be made to facilitate free capital movement and promote free trade policies.

Meanwhile, the role of state enterprises will be reduced with the private sector being encouraged to take on a more dominant role.

A committee will be set up to prepare the country for the integration of the ASEAN community and support foreign investment.

The council will support investment in the country's basic infrastructure and transport systems and will observe financial discipline by keeping spending within the debt ceiling.

It has vowed to eradicate practices that put farmers at a disadvantage with traders and plans to use an integrated approach to solve labour problems.

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