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Opposition concerned about lack of transparency from government borrowing

by Worapon Tingchin
Opposition concerned about lack of transparency from government borrowing
Photo: VOA

Six opposition political parties are mounting pressure on Prayut Chan-o-cha’s government to provide more clarity and transparency about how they plan to use the proposed 1.97 trillion baht loan to fight covid-19.

Tomorrow, a five-day debate will begin to discuss the financial packages that have been divided into three broad decrees – bolstering the economy, helping businesses, and fixing corporate bond-related problems.

The opposition wants full transparency and the ability to scrutinize the spending of the borrowed money, threatening to not give support to the decrees if the conditions are not met.

Pheu Thai MP, Sutin Klungsang, said that the government must spell out what the funds will be used for and how they will be spent, saying “we will certainly not pass the decrees without conditions.”

Presently, the opposition has not received any significant details about the three decrees and are concerned that the government will not provide proper clarification over the coming days. MP Klungsang said:

“If it fails to thoroughly provide details or answers, we may need to ask the Constitutional Court to step in.”

To date, only broad outlines of how the borrowing will be allocated have been released. The first executive decree gives the government the power to borrow one trillion baht to boost the economy.

The funds have been broken down as 600 billion baht to be spent on public aid, which includes the 5,000 baht government handout, with the remainder being spent on economic restoration projects.

However, opposition parties are concerned that the spending will not be transparent without further details about exactly where the money will go.

The other decrees enable the government to borrow from the Bank of Thailand. The bank can issue 500 billion baht in soft loans to assist businesses and also set up a fund to fix corporate bond-related issues for 400 billion baht.

The government has set aside 22 hours for clarifications over the next five days, divided into 11 hours for the cabinet and 11 hours for opposition MPs.

Source: Bangkok Post