Former deputy prime minister Pridiyathorn Devakula has warned the National Legislative Assembly of a surreptitious move by a group of military officers to form a national oil corporation which will have dominating power in the management of national energy.
Calling a press conference at the Thai Journalists Association on Monday, Pridiyathorn told the media that the military group had surreptitiously inserted a clause regarding the formation of a national oil corporation in the Petroleum Bill despite the fact the original version of the bill did not have anything about the oil corporation.
He said that the original version of the bill did not have any mentioning about the oil corporation. The insertion of the clause, he added, was intended to place the controlling over energy affairs under one roof � that is the national oil corporation.
Pridiyathorn recalled that when he served as deputy prime minister in the previous Prayut administration, a group of military officers in the NLA tried to convince General Prayut to establish the oil corporation.
He warned that thus national oil corporation is tantamount to a new giant which will have monopolistic control of all aspects of energy and is vulnerable to political interference.
Everything was done in a transparent manner and was openly debated in the first reading. Who would have imagined that, in the second reading, something was inserted (in the bill) that lacks justifiable basis, said the deputy prime minister as he pleaded with the NLA to ditch this additional provision from the bill.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)