Focus on state enterprise boards

national June 01, 2014 00:00

By Erich Parpart,
Somluck Srimal

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Appointing new board members and reviving delayed projects on agenda

Two urgent plans for management of the country’s 56 state enterprises – the setting up of the new management team and reviving state enterprise investments and projects delayed this year – will be proposed to the junta leaders on Tuesday. 
The state enterprises will present their plans to Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, the junta’s chief of economic affairs, tomorrow. He will then forward the plans to the National Council for Peace and Order for consideration on Tuesday.
ACM Prajin said the first priority was the appointment board members to all state enterprises that did not have board members.
Prajin said the new members would be considered based on the time they could spend in the office, as he believed board members of state enterprises should have considerable time to devote solely to the management of the country’s utilities.
He added that replacement of board members would be handled within the rules and regulations of each enterprise. 
As for projects and investments delayed since the dissolution of Parliament in December, Prajin said most of the projects within the budget would be considered by the NCPO and the most urgent project would be considered first in order to avoid further delays.
This year, state enterprises have a total investment plan of Bt346.89 billion, but they have spent only Bt71.75 billion, or 20 per cent of the plan, in the first four months of the year. 
Prajin said the NCPO aimed to modernise state enterprise operations and achieve energy stability and transparency.
“State enterprise operations must be efficient and should operate with the benefit of the country in mind since its functions can influence the stability of the nation’s economy and the well-being of its citizens,” he said.
Apart from the urgent issues, Prajin said he had instructed state enterprises to come up with short-term and long-term plans to be presented to the NCPO by tomorrow so the body can include the plans in its utilities roadmap.
“The state enterprises roadmap should be within the law and be in line with the NCPO’s economic roadmap,” he said. 
He said the Security Council would consider the plans before they were presented to Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha for approval.
Prapat Jongsanguan, governor of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), met with the NCPO yesterday and proposed an urgent plan to revise the construction design of the red-line rail system at Bangsue station to support both the regular rail system and the high-speed train system. 
The SRT board had already approved the plan and was waiting Cabinet approval, Prapat said.
SRT chairman Boonsom Lerthiranwong proposed that the NCPO maintain the proposed investment of Bt300 billion in 14 double-track railways. 
Boonsom said five of the projects – worth Bt118 billion in total – had already been approved by the former Cabinet but were awaiting environmental impact assessment.
Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand chairman Anchalee Chavanich said that Egat had proposed investment in the power project at Mae Mor 1-4 and the high-voltage 500 KV project that would serve the South and West of the country.
Anchalee said the projects, costing Bt100 billion in total, had been approved by the former Cabinet but could not go ahead because of the political turmoil.
PTT chief executive Pailin Chuchottaworn said the company’s business plan supported the NCPO’s policy, especially alternative energy projects. 
Securities and Exchange Commission secretary-general Vorapol Socatiyanurak said that the SEC had suggested that state enterprises raise capital from the capital market through issuance of infrastructure fund, a real-estate investment trust fund, and debentures. This would reduce the public debt.

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