Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam recently addressed questions from the press regarding the Election Commission’s (EC) rejection of a proposal last week. The election agency stated that the document did not include any mention of the proposal arising from a Cabinet resolution.
Wissanu clarified that he was not present at the April 25 cabinet meeting when the decision was made to seek approval from the EC before providing subsidies for May electricity bills. Consequently, he did not have an opportunity to review the proposal.
“It’s likely that the Secretariat of the Cabinet was not well-versed in the procedures for obtaining EC approval and missed some crucial details,” the deputy prime minister explained. “I’ve resubmitted the document to the commission, and I anticipate it will take about a week for them to reconsider.”
According to election law, a caretaker Cabinet must obtain permission from the election watchdog before implementing projects that require funding. Failing to do so can give the impression that the outgoing government is offering subsidies in an attempt to garner voter support.
The proposed plan requires an allocation of 11 billion baht from the central budget to finance the subsidies, which are intended to alleviate some of the financial burden on the public.
If approved, the measure will provide reductions in electricity rates for consumers based on their usage. For example, those using between 1 and 150 units of electricity will receive a discount of 92.04 satang per unit (with 100 satang equaling 1 baht). Meanwhile, individuals using between 151 and 300 units will benefit from a reduction of 67.04 satang per unit.
The amendment to the proposal and the timely resubmission to the Election Commission demonstrate the deputy prime minister’s commitment to securing these much-needed subsidies for the Thai people. While the outcome of the reconsideration is not guaranteed, Wissanu’s efforts to address questions from the press and provide insight into the situation reveal a proactive and transparent approach to governance.