The Move Forward Party (MFP) has called on PM Srettha Thavisin to approve 14 bills proposed by the Party, pointing out that it is not necessary for him to agree with the content but to provide MPs with an opportunity to exchange views and reach a conclusion.
At a 20 November press conference, spokesperson Parit Wacharasindhu discussed progress on 31 bills proposed by the MFP covering political, economic and social matters, including labour protection, military reform, corruption prevention, and tax reform.
Of this number, 14 are considered financial bills, which cannot be brought before parliament unless approved by the PM.
These include bills:
- to abolish mandatory military conscription
- to revoke orders of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)
- to abolish the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC)
- to decentralize powers to local government
- on expropriation of land
- on roads
- to facilitate the granting of permits and providing services to the public
- on land and building taxes
- on a land consolidation tax
- on a wealth tax
- on land reform
- on labour protection, including 180 days of maternity leave
- on universal pensions
- to support and protect indigenous rights
Parit said the PM's approval of financial bills does not in principle imply that the PM or the government agree with the drafts, but it is an opportunity for the drafts to be debated in parliament to find a conclusion acceptable to all parties according to the parliamentary process.
He stated that former PM Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha approved only 59% of bills proposed by the opposition, which is a smaller proportion than his predecessor. However, not a single bill proposed by the opposition was passed.
In terms of the budget implications, Parit said that even though the 14 bills are considered financial bills, in reality, several of these drafts aim to reduce the burden of the state budget, such as the abolition of ISOC, the land tax and the wealth tax.
In terms of alignment with government policy, the spokesperson said that many bills are in line with the policies previously announced by the government, such as the abolition of mandatory military conscription, the revocation of orders and announcements of the NCPO, and the decentralization of powers to local administrations.
The spokesperson said that the MFP requested the PM to approve the 14 bills they proposed so that they could be deliberated during the upcoming session on 12 December.
“It's not because the PM has to agree with every bill proposed by the MFP, but because the PM is ready to build a political system that values the House of Representatives as a venue for exchanging different perspectives and finding conclusions that all sides can accept and move forward together. If the PM needs any additional details, I and the party are happy to provide the information for his consideration," concluded Parit.