Chaturon says NSC should be nowhere near economic policies; emergency decrees must be lifted

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The National Security Council (NSC) should not be in charge of introducing economic measures and the emergency decree to prevent Covid-19 should be lifted, a senior member of the Pheu Thai Party said on Friday.

“General Prayut made a huge mistake when he decided to use the NSC to handle the energy and inflation problems because this was a total mismatch and completely unnecessary,” Chaturon Chaisang told Thai Enquirer by phone.

His comments came after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha this week appointed the NSC to be in charge of planning and introducing measures to mitigate rising energy prices and inflation.

NSC chief Supoj Malaniyom said on Thursday that the council has been monitoring the war between Russia and Ukraine to anticipate energy prices.

He said Prayut wants the NSC to work with related economic agencies, such as the Ministry of Energy and the National Economic and Social Development Council to come up with short, middle, and long-term plans to deal with the problems.

He said the NSC should be involved because the issues are related to national stability and the council will provide input for new measures or new laws to deal with the energy crisis if necessary.

Chaturon said none of the issues have anything to do with international security or military security.

He said the problem right now is rising energy prices which leads to higher production costs and higher product prices and it must be fixed by agencies that have knowledge of the economy and have experience in introducing economic measures and the NSC is not one of them.

Chaturon added that apart from dealing with inflation, the government should also concentrate on attracting more foreign investment, attracting more foreign tourists and supporting the export sector but the NSC’s involvement will only ruin investor confidence.

“The use of the NSC as the main agency to take care of economic problems will severely impact the confidence of foreign investors inside and outside the country,” he said.

“How can they come up with any effective results if they are being led by an agency that does not know or understand anything about economic issues?” he asked.

“This is very concerning because it could worsen the situation,” he said.

“The private sector has been providing recommendations over the past month but the government has been very slow to react to these recommendations like they are not working on the same wavelength,” he said.

Emergency Decree

Chaturon also said the government should lift the emergency decree because they are already planning to declare Covid as endemic in July.

He said the decree is currently being used outside its objective and being used to suppress dissent.

“This decree was meant for Covid but the government is using it to deal with people who think differently and this is seriously violating the human rights of the people and the university students which is also unconstitutional,” he said.


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