Green light received for B40.82bn provincial plans
The government has approved provincial and provincial cluster development plans between 2023 and 2027 worth a combined 40.82 billion baht.
Of the total budget, 40.82 billion baht will be allotted to develop 18 provincial clusters in six regions comprising the Central, Northeast, North, South, East, the West, and in the three southernmost provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani. Funding will come from fiscal budgets.
Anek Memongkol, deputy secretary-general to the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), said the provincial cluster development committee, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, on Monday approved 1,854 development projects worth 40.82 billion baht under the provincial cluster and provincial development plan between 2023 and 2027.
The committee on Monday also agreed on 1,409 priority development projects worth 29.28 billion baht.
According to Mr Anek, the provincial cluster developments between 2023-2027 will align with strategic plans in each region.
The government is now eyeing the development of three new economic corridors that are instrumental to increasing investment and rehabilitating the economy over the next five years.
They are the Northeastern Economic Corridor (NEEC), the Northern Economic Corridor (NEC), and the Southern Economic Corridor (SEC), which are similar in form to the current flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). They are scheduled to be promoted in the 13th national economic and social development plan that spans 2023-27.
The NEEC covers the provinces of Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima and Nong Khai. The corridor is expected to manufacture products to supply the EEC and China, with an emphasis on bio-economy development because of the area's plentiful raw materials such as rice, tapioca and sugar cane.
Meanwhile, the NEC is designated to cover four northern provinces: Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang and Chiang Rai. The cabinet in early 2020 approved the NEC development plan in principle, with the aim of boosting income for people in the region, promoting community and cultural tourism as well as improving products in the region for export.