Pheu Thai will call time if debate stalls

Pheu Thai will call time if debate stalls

Pheu Thai lawmakers will try to push through the 2-trillion-baht borrowing bill scheduled for deliberation in the House next week if the opposition attempts any stalling tactics, a ruling party MP said yesterday.

A section of the Bang Sue-Tha Phra Blue Line electric railway that will span the Chao Phraya River near the Rama VII bridge has made rapid progress. The railway is part of the government’s plan to boost public transport options in Bangkok. SEKSAN ROJJANAMETAKUN

"We reserve the right to propose an end to the debate if opposition MPs refuse to stick to issues contained in the bill," Udomdet Rattanasathian, Pheu Thai MP for Nonthaburi and an adviser to the government whips warned.

The government hopes members of the Democrat Party will follow House protocol to ensure smooth deliberation of the bill, he said.

Parliamentary sessions over the past few weeks have been plagued by disruptions and violent protests by Democrat lawmakers who have accused government MPs, the president and his deputies of denying them their right to speak on a bill to amend a clause in the constitution governing the composition of the Senate. The 2-trillion-baht borrowing bill is expected to pitch government and opposition lawmakers against each other in another fiery clash when it returns to the Lower House for its second reading next Thursday and Friday.

The bill seeks to allow the government to borrow up to 2 trillion baht to finance key infrastructure development projects, mostly in the transport sector.

Critics say the bill lacks detail while the opposition says the draft, if approved, will lead to massive public debt and corruption.

The Finance Ministry's Public Debt Management Office said the 2-trillion-baht infrastructure projects and the 350-billion-baht flood and water management scheme would be carefully monitored.

The debts would be managed strictly to make sure they do not exceed 50% of gross domestic product, office director-general Chularat Suteethorn said.

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