Each project in the government's 2-trillion-baht infrastructure plan must get cabinet approval and undergo an environmental impact assessment, says the government's planning agency.
Megaprojects are required to be sent first to the NESDB for consideration before going to the cabinet for approval, according to a report by the National Economic and Social Development Board submitted to the government yesterday.
Any joint public-private project worth 1 billion baht or more should also comply with the Public-Private Partnership Act, the board said.
Project owners are required to conduct the environmental impact assessment, with only approved projects allowed to proceed.
The bill, which lets the government borrow 2 trillion baht for its infrastructure overhaul, goes before the cabinet today.
The funds would be doled out to more than 100 development projects over the next seven years.
If the bill is approved by the cabinet, it will be forwarded to parliament on March 27 or 28.
According to Transport Minister Chatchart Sitthiphan, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told the NESDB to query the public and solicit suggestions to make the process more transparent.
He said 99% of the suggestions by the public at a recent megaproject exhibit indicated agreement with the state's development plans.
The NESDB was also charged with creating guidelines for ministers to answer questions in parliament.
Mr Chatchart said the draft bill includes strategic plans and a development framework with lists of projects.
He said most projects will be financed by loans because of their long-term nature, with the government investing in civil works such as the first phase of four high-speed train projects linking Bangkok with Hua Hin, Pattaya, Nakhon Ratchasima and Phitsanulok.
The government would later open bids for private operators to manage the train network.
Road spending would go to three motorway projects linking Bangkok with Kanchanaburi and Nakhon Ratchasima and Pattaya with Rayong.
The government plans to use loans only for land expropriation, while construction costs of about 10 billion baht would be funded by Highways Department revenue.
Other projects include ports for the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea.
The government will include projects suggested by the public.
About the author
- Writer: Chatrudee Theparat
Position: Business Reporter