'Superboard' monitoring state enterprises to meet mid-week

Economy July 05, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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The State Enterprises Policy Commission, or "superboard", is to hold its first meeting in the middle of next week, said Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul.

The superboard was created by the National Council for Peace and Order to supervise the operations of state enterprises to ensure efficiency and transparency.  
Meanwhile, the members of the Board of Investment committee recently appointed by the NCPO will be subject to revised operational guidelines with more emphasis on environmental preservation under the supervision of Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, the deputy junta chief who heads economic affairs.  
The NCPO says the objective and function of the superboard is not to approve or disapprove mega-projects as some have feared, but rather to provide general policy guidelines to ensure efficiency and promotion of a conducive investment climate to attract foreign investment.  
However, Siam Commercial Bank’s head of wholesale banking and senior executive vice president , Arthid Nanthawithaya, said SCB would have to be more cautious in its business dealings on various large projects involving state enterprises after the establishment of the superboard. The bank will have to consult its legal advisers on whether some large projects might be stalled. 
In any case, SCB does not have much business with state enterprises, Arthid said.  
On the other hand, Kasikornbank first senior vice president Suradech Kietthanakorn said the superboard should not obstruct or interfere with the bank’s business dealings with various projects, as the body’s function is to create a general framework to facilitate investments for various projects. 
KBank will adhere to its cautious lending policies as in the past with regard to the various pending and future projects. The bank doubts there will be any revocation or changes to the projects for which the contracts were signed before the establishment of the superboard by the NCPO, Suradech said.  
The economy is gradually recovering, but exports are still sluggish, while some direct investment has shifted to neighbouring countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. Hence the Thai government must implement stimulus measures to boost investors’ confidence and public spending, which the superboard should be able to assist, Suradej added.