Junta leader to use absolute power to speed up infrastructure project

The junta leader has announced that the regime will use its absolute power to speed up development of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

On 24 October 2017, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, announced after the ministerial meeting that the government is preparing to invoke Section 44 of the Interim Constitution to speed up development of the EEC, according to the Thai News Agency.

Section 44 will be used while the EEC Bill is being considered by the National Legislative Assembly.

Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd, spokesperson of the Prime Minister's Office, said land appropriation will be included in the EEC Bill in order to foster investor confidence.

“I confirm that if the bill is enacted, [it] will not go against the NCPO (National Council for Peace and Order) Order because its regulations are written in compatible way,” said Sansern. “The main point is that formerly, town planning had to be implemented under the procedures of the Department of Public Works and Town and Country Planning, which must take more than one to two years.”

The time frame will be shortened to only six months.

In a move to improve Thai macroeconomic figures, the junta leader invoked in May 2015 his absolute power to announce NCPO Order No. 17/2015.

The order sanctioned turning large areas in Tak, Mukdahan, Nong Khai, Sa Kaeo and Trat provinces — bordering Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia — into Special Economic Zones (SEZs) where industry deregulation and tax cuts are offered to lure investors.

Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha at a 5 March 2017 meeting on the EEC (file photo)