Mr. Srettha delivered government’s policy statements to the Parliament on Monday, Sep 11. Credit: ThaiGov

Srettha government places natural resources and environment as mid- and long-term policy

The new government’s short-term policies are all aimed at shoring up the sickened economy suffering from years-long Covid-19 and global disruption by principally stimulating spending while mid- and long-term policies are set to help further relieve household burdens, generate incomes, promote opportunities in lives as well as quality of life among the citizens

The new government led by a millionaire Srettha Thavisin, Thailand’s new PM and Minister of Finance, presented to the public on Monday their policies at the joint parliamentary session of the Parliament. This follows Article 162 of the 2017 Constitution, which states that an incoming Cabinet must declare their policies within 15 days after entering the office as well as sources of the budget to implement the policies. The policies must also align with the State Duty, the State Policies, and the National Strategy addressed in the Constitution.

Through over 14 pages, Mr. Srettha read loudly before the Parliament on Monday, lining up his government’s policies that will be implemented over the next four years. They are divided into short- or immediate-term and mid- and long-term policies.

The Srettha government’s short or immediate-term policies will principally focus on shoring up the sickened economy by immediately stimulating spending nationwide. Among the first and foremost support from the government is the 10,000 baht digital handout that it wishes to help boost the economy countrywide through wide-range spending of the people.

Other measures include; addressing debts in the agricultural, business, and household sectors through debt moratoriums for farmers and SMEs, and other debt-relief measures; alleviating people’s burden through cutting energy costs, restructuring the nation’s energy usage, and promoting clean and renewable energy; generating more tourism revenues through revising and facilitating visa application procedures and exempting visa fees for tourists from targeted countries; and last but not least, the government will addressing differences in opinions with regard to the 2017Constitution through a referendum and rewriting of the Consitution through parliamentary mechanisms without touching upon the parts concerning the mornarchy.

Quality of life and the environment

As for the mid- and long-term policies, the Srettha government will further relieve household burdens, generate incomes, promote opportunities in lives as well as quality of life among the citizens

His government places natural resources and the environment as the second policy concerning “quality of life”. Mr Srettha noted that the second policy about quality of life is “clean environment for all”. His government will take care of natural resources and the environment which are crucial to the country’s development and people’s health. It will promote and restore soil and water quality, as well as the balance of the ecosystem, while conserving biodiversity.

It will solve the pollution problems to return a good environment to the people while preventing an environmental crisis from happening again. It will solve the environmental problems which are addressed as national agendas already including the PM 2.5 haze. This can be done by the introduction of new economic incentives in the farm sector, the use of satellite data for planning, and cooperation with neighbours. All these are addressed in one paragraph.

Before he ended his announcement, Mr. Srettha also touched upon the Sustainable Development Goals, vowing to not ignore them but apply them as a critical force to move the country’s economy. It will also continue working on the policy concerning Carbon neutrality. 

“Sustainable development will open the doors to global trade, under which the country can come up with some advantages in trade negotiations, which give more importance now to environmental impacts and efficiency,” said Mr. Srettha.

“The government will maintain and take care of natural resources,” Mr. Srettha concluded.

Critics including MPs from opposition parties including the Move Forward party, however, criticised the environmental policies of the government, saying they lack substance, sound vague and have no clear goals. They are also not placed as immediate policies as supposed to be, given urgent issues like climate crisis or the coming El Nino, they said.

The government’s policies are also separated and placed in an Appendix to show an alignment with the State Duty, the State Policies, and the National Strategy under the 2017 Constitution. (Read: The Srettha government’s policies)