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Thai junta will 'help interim govt until its job is done'

Publication Date : 05-07-2014

 

Air Force chief ACM Prajin Juntong said yesterday that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) would stay after the interim government is appointed to help with its work.

In principle, the National Legislative Assembly, National Reform Council, Cabinet - which will be set up in the second phase of the roadmap - and the NCPO would work together until their jobs have been completed, he said. The deputy NCPO leader added that a provisional charter, which has some 45 Articles, is being reviewed.

Meanwhile, NCPO chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha vowed last night to make state enterprises better at serving public interests instead of just focusing on profits and reaping benefits for their board members.

Speaking in his weekly TV show, Prayuth said he realised society was monitoring the numerous board changes at state enterprises that the NCPO had initiated. He admitted that the junta needed to appoint some figures who served previous governments because appointing inexperienced directors might damage state enterprises.

"What matters most is that we must be able to control [their operations] to be in line with rules so they do not seek interests that make themselves and their affiliates rich," he said.

On Thursday, the Thailand Development Research Institute proposed that PTT Plc, of which the Finance Ministry is a key shareholder, should lower its focus on profit so people can benefit from cheaper fuel prices.

Prayuth said the NCPO had set up a so-called "superboard" to oversee state enterprise boards to ensure transparency. He said the "superboard", which he also leads, would ensure state agencies work for public benefit.

"The superboard will improve the system to better divide the ratio of interests for the state, shareholders and the public," he said.

As for the rice scheme, Prayuth said the NCPO had set up some 100 teams of auditors to check stocks and had found that rice worth 60 million baht (US$1.85 million) or 70 million baht ($2.16 million) was missing.

As for overpriced lottery tickets, he said the NCPO would try to get vendors to sell each ticket for no more than 90 baht, while the body would also instruct stalls to sell tickets for 80 baht each.

He said the NCPO would try to stimulate growth to 2 per cent this year after the central bank projected growth of only 1.5 per cent.

The junta will have state-owned banks, such as the Government Savings Bank, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives and SMEs Bank, provide loans for low-income earners. It will hold a roadshow in which NCPO officials and private-sector representatives explain to the international community why the military had to seize power.

Prayuth also thanked Cambodian PM Hun Sen for releasing activist Veera Somkwamkid from a Cambodian prison last Tuesday.

 

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