The NGOs say the push to change the laws serves only the interests of the businesses.
Representatives from the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Thai Industries and the Thai Bankers' Association, which jointly pushed for the legal amendments, plan to submit the proposal to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra this Wednesday.
The business groups claim the current laws are "outdated and hinder Thailand's global competitiveness". They want the government to treat the amendments as an urgent issue.
The 37 laws included acts and ministerial regulations currently being enforced and those in the drafting and scrutinising processes.
However, the group of NGOs, made up of consumer, health and environment advocates, yesterday held a joint press conference to oppose the move to change laws relating to liabilities on sub-standard products, goods prices, environmental impacts of development and tax privileges in the health charter.
Foundation for Consumers chairwoman Jiraporn Limpananont disagrees with proposed changes to the 2008 Product Liability Act, which sets procedures to solve conflicts over unsafe products between consumers and private companies.
The business groups want to add a prerequisite to require consumers who accuse firms of selling sub-standard goods to prove their allegations.
However, it can be difficult for consumers to precisely point out flaws in goods which use highly technological processes, Ms Jiraporn said.
Another proposal which Ms Jiraporn says affects consumers' rights is that which would limit consumers to use only one law to back their legal actions when seeking compensation.
Ms Jiraporn also opposes an idea to scrap the 1999 Prices of Goods and Services Act, which allows the government to control the price of consumer goods when necessary.
State interference in markets is still needed because certain goods and services can be monopolised, she said.
Foundation for Aids Rights director Supatra Nacapew disagrees with a proposed change in the 2009 national health charter, which currently prohibits the government from granting tax and investment privileges to commercial health service companies.
"The government has no duty to support them with such privileges," she said.
Penchom Saetang, director of environmental group Earth, voiced fears over a move to tweak the 1992 Environmental Promotion and Conservation Act.
The business groups want the right to appeal to the National Environment Board if their environmental impact assessments (EIAs) are not approved.
If EIAs are rejected, project construction must stop, Ms Penchom said. Allowing the firms to appeal against the board's rulings on EIAs poses a risk to the environment, she argued.
Saree Aongsomwang, secretary-general for the Foundation for Consumers, said civil groups should have their say in the legal amendments, or otherwise the proposals should be forwarded to the state Law Reform Commission, led by Prof Kanit na Nakorn, for careful consideration. The commission considers views from public consultations.
Federation of Thai Industries chairman Phayungsak Chartsuthipol insisted yesterday that the group would press on with the legal amendment proposals.
"We need to change the laws," Mr Phayungsak told the Bangkok Post yesterday. "The laws don't clearly tell us whether to go left or right. We need greater clarity."
The proposals are debatable and the business groups are ready to hold talks with people who disagree with them, he said.