A FORMER Pheu Thai MP yesterday criticised the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) for aborting several funds initiated by the Yingluck Shinawatra government, saying they were useful and even needed in case of emergency.
Kusumalwadee Sirikomut also accused the NCPO of planning to use money appropriated from these funds to buy new weapons, and asked how the public could be sure no kickbacks would be paid for such deals. She said the funds had been used to tackle past natural disasters when a specific budget is not available.
The NCPO has ordered a review of six schemes, many considered as populist policies under the supervision of the Secretariat of the Cabinet that were initiated by the then-ruling party. The NCPO later terminated a number of them while instructing that a few others be taken over by other agencies. The money left over would be handed over to the state-run Student Loan.
The Maha Sarakham MP cited a cut in an MP pension fund, that was reportedly initiated by the NCPO but not touched by it.
On the NCPO’s order, the funds that will be discontinued immediately are: a Bt3-billion fund for community entrepreneurs; the SML (Small Medium and Large village) projects, for which Bt5.7 billion had been earmarked; and a fund for urban development, which has a budget of Bt1.25 billion.
A fund for women in communities, which has seen an accumulated budget of Bt2.4 billion, will be taken over by the Community Development Department under the Interior Ministry, while the Farmers’ Council project, which has an unspent budget of Bt276 million, will be taken over by the Agriculture Ministry.
The NCPO has agreed to let the Village and Urban Community fund continue, which has incurred less than 10 per cent debt. This fund received a Bt26-billion budget this year, which has boosted the total assets under it to Bt3.4 billion.