State firms told to boost disbursement

State firms told to boost disbursement

State-owned enterprises (SOEs) have been instructed to disburse front-loaded investment for certain public projects in a bid to rev up economic growth, says the State Enterprise Policy Office (Sepo).

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak ordered the move to accelerate public investment in some projects as a way to inject liquidity into the economic system at a faster pace, said Sepo director-general Prapas Kong-Ied.

SOEs disbursed investment budget worth 146 billion baht in the first 10 months of fiscal 2019, making up 81% of July's budget disbursement projection.

For the first 10 months of fiscal 2019, running from October 2018 to July 2019, Sepo allocated an investment budget of 333 billion baht for 45 SOEs under the office's supervision.

The Provincial Waterworks Authority saw the highest disbursement rate at 136% during the first 10 months of fiscal 2019, followed by the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (124%), TOT (120%), the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (118%) and the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (116%).

The SOE with the lowest disbursement rate in the period was the Expressway Authority of Thailand at 20%, followed by the State Railway of Thailand (48%), Airports of Thailand (62%) and Thai Airways International (66%).

Separately, finance permanent secretary Prasong Poontaneat said the integrity pact and regulatory cost system have saved about 100 billion baht in public procurement costs in the past five years.

The law on public procurement stipulates that procurement projects worth 1 billion baht or more must comply with the integrity pact and a regulatory cost system.

In the next phase, the gap in money saved from auctions or biddings at a lower price than the mid price range will be narrower because the auction's mid price will be closer to the market price, Mr Prasong said.

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