PPP panel to mull 6 more projects
No need to wait for new government
Six additional projects worth a combined 85 billion baht are expected to seek Public-Private Partnership (PPP) committee approval this year to proceed under the joint investment scheme.
Any of the six projects that are ready for investment can be proposed to the committee without waiting for a new government to be formed, said Prapas Kong-Ied, director-general of the State Enterprise Policy Office (Sepo).
The Public Health Ministry's medical centre worth 8.22 billion baht is the priority because it will start helping people as soon as it opens, he said.
The other five projects are the Kathu-Patong highway in Phuket, with an investment value of 14.1 billion baht; a housing community in Chiang Mai's Nong Hoi, valued at 5.55 billion; the third and fourth phases of the Din Daeng community restoration in Bangkok worth 39.8 billion; National Housing Authority residential and commercial development projects along electric train routes, worth 4.23 billion; and a public liquid cargo berth, worth 13 billion.
Mr Prapas said he has reiterated that state enterprises need to speed up investment budget disbursement during the transition period to a new government. They must not shift to neutral gear during the transition, but rather shore up the country's economy, he said.
Neutral gear is used to describe a fallow period between governments when state agencies and enterprises do not accomplish much.
Given many public holidays in April and May, budget disbursement will likely be less than targeted during the second quarter, Mr Prapas said.
He said 45 state enterprises doled out 51.6 billion baht worth of investment budget, representing 62% of the target, for the five months through February.
Of the total, 35.5 billion baht was drawn down by 34 state enterprises whose accounting period is based on the fiscal year, and the remainder by 11 whose accounting period uses the calendar year.
The Orange Line (eastern section) connecting Thailand Cultural Centre with Min Buri and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand's transmission system development in the East and South are large investment projects for which budget disbursement surpasses targets.
The Sino-Thai high-speed train's first phase and Suvarnabhumi airport development have seen far slower budget disbursement than targeted, Mr Prapas said.