Probe sought over Orange Line bidding
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Probe sought over Orange Line bidding

A group of opposition parties on Thursday petitioned the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to investigate key government figures for losses over the Orange Line project.

They asked for a probe into Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob over alleged misconduct blamed for a 68-billion-baht loss in taxpayers' money in bidding for the Orange Line's western expansion.

According to the petition, Gen Prayut and Mr Saksayam should be held responsible for alleged bidding price collusion and dereliction of duty as they failed to take proper action to correct the result of the bidding on the Orange Line's Bang Khun Non-Min Buri extension.

The second round of bidding cost the government 68 billion baht more in state subsidies after the first bid was called off, said Surachet Pravinvongvuth, a list MP of Move Forward Party (MFP).

Mr Surachet was referring to the latest round of bidding on the Orange Line project in which Bangkok Expressway and Metro Plc (BEM) beat out the ITD Group, a joint venture between Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD) and South Korea's Incheon Transit Corporation.

He said he couldn't help suspecting that the 68-billion-baht difference might have gone to some financiers of a particular party or even the party itself for use to fund its race in the next poll.

Mr Surachet said he believes Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC) was barred from competing in the second round by new requirements imposed regarding the qualifications.

The BTSC, the operator of the BTS Sky Train, and the BEM are the main electric train operators in the country. With one left out of the bidding, the other could set whatever bidding price it wanted, he said.

This has led to substantial damage to the country. Mr Saksayam is responsible for the Orang Line project and Gen Prayut for all government policies, said Somkid Cheaukong, a Phue Thai Party MP for Ubon Ratchathani.

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