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NCPO targets freebies of state enterprises

THAI board members to lose free tickets; Other state enterprises also under scrutiny for privilege cuts

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) yesterday decided to cut the privilege of free flights for board members of national carrier Thai Airways International, as a pilot project aimed at budget savings.

Other state-owned enterprises are also in the junta's sights for cutting the privileges of their board members, as part of the military's plan to revamp state-owned enterprises.

The NCPO's spokesman, Colonel Winthai Suvari, said cutting the privileges of THAI board members was aimed at budget savings and also to help the loss-making carrier cut its costs.

The spokesman was speaking after a junta meeting chaired by NCPO chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha with deputy military chiefs on six aspects of national administration.

Currently, each of THAI's board members is allowed 15 free international flights and 12 domestic flights a year with the carrier. They can also be accompanied by a person, who will be given the same privileges to fly with them.

Among the privileges enjoyed for long by the board members of some state-owned enterprises are free water and electricity for their whole lives. Some are given either free fuel or their telephone bills are paid. The junta earlier reportedly considered removing members of boards of many state-owned enterprises.

In addition, the NCPO agreed on the fiscal 2015 budget plan proposed by the Finance Ministry and ordered the ministry to complete budget expenditure by September 30. The NCPO also agreed on a disbursement plan of the budget for fiscal 2014.

The NCPO yesterday released its strategic outline for next year's annual budget with emphasis on the Sufficiency Economy principle, aimed at pushing forward the economy and restoring confidence.

The NCPO told government agencies to work out their budgets in line with the 11th National Economic and Social Development Plan and integrate eight strategies, including national security, establishing sustainable and fair economic growth and good governance.

As part of the strategy to restore confidence and quickly establish good fundamentals for the country, the NCPO cited eight urgent issues: providing speedy help to the people, restore confidence and stimulate the economy and investment, create reconciliation, suppress and prevent corruption, implementation of Asean Economic Community agreements, infrastructure development, putting research and development studies into practice, and solving problems related to the restive South.

The NCPO also asked government agencies to allocate budgets for the suppression and prevention of illegal drugs, human trafficking and corruption.

The other issues include development of human resources, information technology, integrated water management as well as public debt management.


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