PM Yingluck pleads with lawmakers to approve Bt2.2 trillion loans bill

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BANGKOK, Sept 19 – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today reemphasised the need to borrow Bt2.2 trillion for Thailand’s infrastructure development, but insisted that her government will not dissolve Parliament if the bill is rejected.

The bill for Bt2.2 trillion in loans was slated for parliamentary debate for its second reading this morning.

She said the country’s infrastructure has lagged for several decades and the bill on Bt2.2 trillion loans is vital to stimulate investment and the economy.

“The government promises to maintain monetary and financial discipline, and the spending is within the framework of public debt requirement,” she said.

She said the government is willing to take the Opposition’s points of view into consideration and that the Opposition would be allowed to fully debate the bill.

“I’ll attend the parliamentary deliberations if I’m not engaged in other obligations,” she said. Ms Yingluck has been criticised for failing to attend most sessions of Parliament.

The prime minister said it would be unnecessary for the government to dissolve Parliament in case the bill was rejected by lawmakers since it was a bill to seek loans for development and investment.

Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister Kittirat Na-Ranong insisted that the bill to borrow Bt2.2 trillion was in accord with the law, and not a breach of the Constitution, explaining that the government has carefully studied the bill and discussed it with the Council of State.

“The bill is significant to the country’s development. Those seeking a review by the Constitution Court should thoroughly study the law and bear in mind the importance of the national interest,” he warned.

He said he would be willing to explain every detail of the bill to the House of Representatives.