The National Legislative Assembly on Thursday passed the Petroleum Bill but without the controversial provision regarding the national oil corporation which was deleted from the bill but put aside as an observation.
The bill sailed through the third and final reading of the NLA by 227 votes for against one opposition.
Assemblyman Pol Lt-Gen Boonruang Pholpanich said during the debate that the addition of the provision, Section 10/1, by the scrutiny committee after the passage of the bill in the first ready was risky and might pave the way for the elected government in the future to change the modality of the national oil corporation that will fit in with its vested interest.
He recommended that Section 10/1 should be deleted from the bill and put aside as an observation from the NLA that the proposed national corporation must be formed in one year after the enforcement of the Petroleum Act otherwise 25 members of the NLA shall be able to propose a draft bill for the creation of the corporation.
General Sakon Satjanit, one of the proponents for the national oil corporation, defended that the proposal stemmed from the brainstorming of several stakeholders, including the people’s sector. He insisted that the scrutiny committee did not have any ulterior motive for initiating the proposal, but had good intention for the good of the country.
He finally agreed to delete Section 10/1 from the bill and put it aside as an observation from the NLA.
Earlier, former deputy prime minister Pridiyathorn Devakula questioned the inclusion of the provision in the bill by the scrutiny committee headed by General Sakon, claiming that a group of generals, including Gen Sakon, might have ulterior motive for proposing the national oil corporation project.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)