Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn (centre) at the ceremony issuing the 2017 Constitution (Photo: EPA/VNA)
 
Bangkok (VNA) - A new law giving Thailand's King direct control over royal assets worth billions of US dollars went into force on July 17.

The law was approved by the Thai National Legislative Assembly last week and published on the Royal Gazette on July 16.

The main change gives King Maha Vajiralongkorn power to appoint all members of the committee that oversees the Crown Property Bureau (CPB).

Under the previous law, the committee's chairman was the finance minister, a move meant to ensure some semblance of government oversight. It is the first time that law has been changed in 69 years.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn inherited one of the world's great fortunes when he ascended the throne in October 2016 following the death of his father Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Since King Bhumibol Adulyadej's death, a series of legal changes have been made. Among these was a provision allowing the king to travel overseas without appointing a regent in his stead, and an end to the need for all royal decrees to be countersigned by a government official.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn also took direct control of five state agencies overseeing royal affairs and palace security that were previously under government or military control.-VNA