The State Enterprise Policy Committee (SEPC) approved in principle the plan for the rehabilitation of the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority at a meeting on Monday, government spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat said.
The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob and Digital Economy and Society Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta.
The plan was approved in principle and will be forwarded to the cabinet for consideration, Ms Narumon said.
The plan includes the procurement of air-conditioned buses which would be managed as private property, reduction of maintenance costs, use of new technology, adjustment of routes to eliminate duplication, and establishment of links with other modes of transport such as electric trains and boat services.
Commercial development of land, with joint investment by the private sector, and improvement of passenger services are also incorporated in the plan.
It is hoped that in the long run the government would not have to shoulder debts incurred by the BMTA, which should eventually be self-reliant, the spokeswoman said.
Gen Prayut said the BMTA should concentrate on serving the people, be able to manage its assets and liabilities without breaching budgetary principles and increase its debt repayment capability. More importantly, the bus agency's employees must be well taken care of.