Treasury Department reclaiming unused land
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Treasury Department reclaiming unused land

An aerial view of the State Railway of Thailand's Makkasan plot that the Treasury Department leases. (Post Today photo)
An aerial view of the State Railway of Thailand's Makkasan plot that the Treasury Department leases. (Post Today photo)

The Treasury Department plans to pull some unused state lands managed by government agencies into its own oversight to increase their value.

Only 4% of state lands are under direct management of the Treasury Department, out of a total of 12.5 million rai in state land, said director-general Yuthana Yimkarun.

The remaining 96% of state land nationwide is managed by various government agencies.

The department aims to increase the direct management ratio to 10% in two years, said Mr Yuthana.

Under the guidelines to achieve this target, the department will have government agencies assess the value of lands managed by them.

By using an estimated price for assessment, the value of these lands in terms of economic and social benefits will be determined, in parallel with each agency's mission. The department will set the baseline value.

Some agencies do not use the lands in their possession.

The revised Land Reform Act of 2019 stipulates that state-owned enterprises that used to manage state lands without paying rental fees must pay the fees to the Treasury Department.

The department is in the process of issuing ministerial regulations under the act to set guidelines, said Mr Yuthana.

The expectation is for these regulations to take effect this September, he said.

Once the regulations come into effect, state-owned enterprises that manage a lot of state lands for public benefit, such as the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat), which manages 1 million rai of state lands nationwide, will return their land holdings to the Treasury Department.

Egat is anticipated to return 500,000 rai of state land to the Treasury Department, said Mr Yuthana, and has given back 15,000 rai.

He said other government agencies will also have to conduct an evaluation of the cost and value of the land use and the process must be completed by next year.

The move also includes cases where some government agencies use their managed state lands for commercial purposes, such as renting plots for convenience stores, said Mr Yuthana.

Government agencies may see this as providing services to personnel within their own departments and people using the service, as there is a fine line between service and commercial use, he said.

These agencies will, therefore, have to pay land rental fees to the Treasury Department, said Mr Yuthana.

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