Dems demand B2trln project details

Dems demand B2trln project details

Democrat Party MPs have threatened to withdraw from the House committee scrutinising the 2.2 trillion baht loans bill and seek a Constitution Court ruling on its legality if by June 3 the government does not provide details of the various projects to be carried out with the loans.

The threat was made on Thursday by Democrat MPs Korn Chatikavanij, Samart Ratchapolsitte and Atthawich Suwanpakdi, who are members of the opposition minority in the scrutiny committee.

Mr Korn said the minority in the committee had asked for details of various projects to be implemented by the government with the money from the 2.2 trillion baht loans, but had received no response.

He said the minority members agreed in principle to support investment in transport infrastructure development to reduce business production costs.

But they discovered that the government was not ready to implement many of the projects mentioned in the loans bill.

Some projects could be done easily with allocations from the normal annual budget, without having to be in the 2.2 trillion baht loans bill.

"If by June 3 government agencies concerned do not provide necessary details of the projects mentioned in the bill, Democrat members of the minority will withdraw from the scrutiny committee and will later ask the Constitution Court to rule on the constitutionality of the bill," Mr Korn said.

Mr Korn said the government should not seek to borrow the money if it had no clear, detailed plan on how to spend it. He feared the loan money could be diverted and used for projects not mentioned in the legislation.

Mr Samart said he felt the government had intentionally hidden details of the high-speed train projects, electric train projects, and particularly the Orange Line (Taling Chan-Min Buri), which involves a lot of land expropriation, and the dual rail tracks projects.

He said the cost of the projects, which the government appeared not ready to carry out, totalled  about 1.5 trillion baht.

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