Thai govt to draft 20-year strategic plan

THE GOVERNMENT will draw up a 20-year national strategic plan, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said yesterday.

It will be in parallel with a national economic development plan that would allow elected governments to adjust the plan to suit them.

Wissanu said a national strategic committee would draft the 20-year reform plan that would be divided into four periods of five years each.

The committee will comprise representatives of the Secretariat of the Cabinet, the National Economic and Social Development Board, the Budget Bureau, the National Security Council, and the Council of State.

These agencies would draw up the 20-year reform plan, based on 11 reform platforms and 36 reform aspects including the country's 12th national economic and social development plan plus recommendations from state agencies.

The national strategic plan would be legislated as a royal command through Parliament.

Wissanu said although a provision under the charter draft stipulated that a Cabinet must administer the country in accordance with the national strategic plan, future governments would be allowed to rewrite their strategic plans.

"Any government that thinks it cannot implement the national strategic plan can seek amendments on how an economic plan can be amended. We will not force future governments to comply with our plan, since it [would not be] fair," he said.

The deputy PM said the military regime had waited for the National Reform Council (NRC) to initiate long-term plans such as this, but could not wait any longer.

The reform would touch on five aspects - national security, the economy, social affairs, foreign affairs and legal affairs. Each would be linked to the responsibilities of five deputy prime ministers. They would work on projects that involved their scope of work, such as dual tracking and high-speed rail, bridging disparity gaps, solving labour issues and maritime security.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the government would adjust the 37-point reform plan submitted by the NRC to be in line with the reform plan drawn up by his regime.

He said the Cabinet would discuss how these 37 points matched the government reform plan and how the national strategic committee could drive the reform. He added that his government had no intention of forcing future governments to follow his regime's reform plan.