State of emergency costing millions of baht a day in food, other expenses
February 12, 2014 00:00
By The Nation
The budget for maintaining the state of emergency is running into the millions of baht per day.
The food bill alone for providing meals catered by a five-star hotel to caretaker Cabinet members and administrators of the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order range from Bt100,000-Bt500,000 per day.
While the exact cost is unknown, as there’s no Parliament for the government to report to, some figures are already surfacing.
They include paying police and other security officers a per diem of Bt700, including Bt300 for meals.
That daily allowance is triple their normal rate.
As many as 200,000 police were deployed nationwide during the February 2 snap election and they were ordered to stay on duty for two to three more days.
Even as early as last October, when the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee was still in the formative stage, 50 companies of 12,000 police were deployed for 10 days from October 9-18.
This means that during the period, the caretaker Yingluck Shinawatra government and its security arms were spending Bt8.4 million per day.
More police were later assigned to special duty and at some point their ranks jumped to 40,000-60,000.
A thousand police have been dispatched to guard the temporary offices of the Cabinet and the government “war room”, as well as the temporary office of the caretaker prime minister at the office of the permanent secretary of the Defence Ministry.