Treasury to review land rental rates

Treasury to review land rental rates

Lessees face checks on commercial use

The Treasury Department will rejig rental rates for its lessees using leased land for purposes other than stated in their contracts in order to pay less rent.

Leased state land is charged a lower rental rate than for commercial purposes, and the department must review the rental rates to see if the land is being misused, said director-general Chakkrit Parapuntakul.

Government plots are leased at 20,000 baht a year, but some lessees have developed them into hotels. The department will examine the rental purposes as stated in the contracts, he said.

The Treasury Department is responsible for managing 12.5 million rai of state land, and only 100,000 rai was allocated for commercial use under the department's supervision, bringing in 4.5 billion baht a year into the state's coffers. The remainder is occupied by state agencies.

Mr Chakkrit instructed Treasury officials based in each province to lay out a plan to develop state land with potential ahead of the lease expiry.

The department wants to let the private sector develop antique buildings under its management for commercial use.

The idea was also broached to allow a former customs house, a prime plot on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River, to be developed by companies.

If a concessionaire fails to develop a project as planned, the department may refurbish the buildings and develop them into tourist spots, he said.

The department gave a 30-year concession to a consortium led by Natural Park, which was later renamed U City, in 2005. Under the contract, the consortium must develop and manage the boutique hotel with no more than 33 rooms on a five-rai plot on Charoen Krung Road. However, that project never got off the ground.

The department will call back for remanagement some plots used as public parks, as they are deteriorating and only a small number of people use them, said Mr Chakkrit.

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