No 'study trips' for local bodies

Members of local administrative bodies nationwide have been banned from using state budgets to organise “study trips” to prevent misuse of taxpayers' money.

The ban was announced on Tuesday by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) after it approved 8.5 billion baht from the 2014 budget for a total of 7,853 local administrative bodies ranging from tambon to provincial levels. 

NCPO spokeswoman Patamaporn Rattanadilok Na Phuket said each local body would initially receive one million baht based on national development strategic plan. The remaining fund would be distributed proportionately to the size of each organisation. 

The entire sum would be used in tasks related to building basic permanent infrastructure, quality of life improvement, jobs and skills development and tourism promotion in order to expand the local economy, Ms Patamaporn said. But all members of the local bodies would not be allowed to spend the budgets on organising both domestic or overseas study trips. 

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