Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra sets the ball rolling on deliberation in Parliament, taking the lead to advocate for two-trillion-Baht-loan for the country’s infrastructural development.
The proposed mega-projects require financing through what was said by local economists as a practical investment, similar to what other nations are doing in order to pave the way for continued broadening of fundamental facilities serving their respective countries.
Yingluck told the House the borrowing for transport projects is in line with policies on economic development and enhancing competitiveness. She said Thailand had not developed infrastructure for a decade and its competitiveness has suffered as a result.
The truth of the matter is when Opposition and Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva was the Prime Minister of Thailand, there was never a prioritization of capitalization of growth. Instead Abhisit spent years strengthening Bangkok as the heart of Democrat power-base and chasing after former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
That being said, Abhisit was also preoccupied with the 2010 Bangkok crackdown which left more than 98 people dead and over 2,000 injured. During the brutal suppression of Red Shirt demonstrators, Abhisit led his government command center from the sanctuary of a military barracks. So how can he along with other cronies of the Democrat Party know about national progress for the Thai people?
As part of the present government’s development, the transport network intends to distribute significant economic growth to remote areas of Thailand, and not just solely in Bangkok as what Abhisit had done. Yingluck’s plan is to ensure sustainable economic maturity, turning Thailand into a regional hub.
She also emphasized the need for the special loan bill, saying annual budgetary allocations could not guarantee the swift completion of infrastructure projects due to possible political changes in the future. Ms Yingluck admitted the borrowing will initially increase public debt in proportion to the GDP of the country. But she said the bill will eventually generate income, raise GDP and thereby reduce the size of public debt compared to GDP.
It is interesting to note that the source of resistance against the Prime Minister’s proposal is mainly from the Democrat Party, signifying a desperate clash to maintain the wealth and economy inside Bangkok and keep the other provinces in regressive state. Bangkok is the heart of the Opposition, and does not represent the opportunities of the majority who are in need of an organic market and sustainable growth. Without the infrastructure and the loan, millions of Thais will be in economic backwater.
It is ironic for Abhisit and his MPs to speak of transparency during the deliberation. During his administration, billions of Baht was unaccounted while the country sank not only under the waves of the flood but also under questionable inexplicable management errors of Thailand’s resources.
Yingluck has offered a period of consultation and deliberation, which is also part and parcel of her government’s commitment towards responsible, comprehensible and explicit growth based on democratic principles and sound business governance.