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Subsidiary legislation to facilitate 20% private participation in transport

The private sector is expected to take a 20-per-cent stake in the country's transport mega-projects worth Bt2.4 trillion to reduce the government's financial burden, according to the State Enterprise Policy Office.

Sepo has drafted eight subordinate laws to support the Act on Private Participation in State Undertaking BE 2556 (2013) to support such investment and it is expected complete them before the end of the year.

Sepo director-general Kulit Sombatsiri said the drafts included guidelines on calculating project values, currently an obstacle to public-private partnerships. They also set out clearer methods for prioritising projects for cabinet approval, conditions for contract amendments, and conditions for assets after expiration of a concession.

Investments by state enterprises would be made through infrastructure funds that are yet to be established. The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand plans the initial amount of its infrastructure fund at about Bt16 billion. Other state enterprises planning infrastructure funds include Airports of Thailand and the Port Authority of Thailand.

Rungson Sriworasat, permanent secretary of the Finance Ministry, said the military's ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) was reviewing the state investments that would be included in the mega-project, given its high value of Bt2.4 trillion. Opening it up to the private sector is an alternative to state borrowings.

"When the NCPO took administrative control of the country, planned projects worth more than Bt1 billion were [suspended] so that they could be reviewed ... Project transparency should be improved for the country's benefit," he said.


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