Bt2-trillion transport plans to go to Cabinet
The Transport Ministry will propose three blueprints requiring almost Bt2 trillion to the Cabinet on Tuesday as part of the country's plan to spend Bt2.2 trillion to build basic infrastructure.PM's Office Minister Varathep Ratanakorn said yesterday that one blueprint was for transport connectivity with eight projects worth Bt190.4 billion. The second was for the infrastructure development for sustainability with nine projects worth Bt1.55 trillion, of which most was for rail systems such as the high-speed train network, dual tracks and 10 mass-transit routes in Greater Bangkok.
The third was for mobility with 10 projects worth Bt158.86 billion. The focus would be on the development of transport hubs and transport links between Thailand and its neighbours.
Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had given most importance to the details, which must be reviewed carefully so that the government could answer to the public why these projects are contained in the Bt2.2-trillion infrastructure development bill.
The prime minister wants to make it clear which projects have to be in the bill and which could use other means to finance them, he said.
She met with agencies related to the bill, including the Finance Ministry, Transport Ministry, National Economic and Social Development Board and Public Debt Management Office. She asked them to align the projects in the bill with those of the four development strategies aimed at enhancing national competitiveness and developing state management. It would take one month to revise the bill completely.
The Transport Ministry has a backlog of projects worth Bt4 trillion awaiting investment, but only urgent ones helping to cut the country's logistics costs have been included in the bill.
The Finance Ministry has informed the agencies that the country could borrow domestically to save on interest and avoid foreign exchange risks. Thailand still has surplus liquidity of Bt2.4 trillion.