Thirachai warns on Bt2 tn borrowing
Supporting the Bt2 trillion infrastructure investment scheme, former finance minister Thirachai Phuvanat-naranubala attacked the government for the plan to fund the investment through off-budget financing.
On his Facebook page, Thirachai said in his post today that the off-budget financing means improper project scrutiny. He suggested that the government include the investment in the annual budgets, which in the process requires proper scrutiny from the National Economic and Social Development Board and the Budget Bureau.
"When off-budget financing is sought, all governments, this one or in the past, just set up a committee to screen investment projects. Though officials from NESDB and Budget Bureau are represented in the committee, the projects cannot be thoroughly scrutinised," he said.
He noted that while off-budget financing guarantees a faster speed, it involves risks. Only a single committee is responsible for any mishaps, rather than government agencies in charge.
"If (the borrowing bill) is to finance an urgent project, it could be acceptable. But this is not an emergency. There is no reason to avoid the routine budget screening process," he said.