Korn Chatikavanij, deputy Democrat leader, said the royal decree allocating the Bt350 billion loans for water management was approved by the Constitution Court last year but the government lacks a clear projection on budget spending and management of water system.
Only Bt4.639 billion has been earmarked, representing only 1 per cent of the Bt350 billion loans, and it was found that the amount of money was not used for water management, he claimed, adding the government has until June 30 to acquire the loans, otherwise the right is invalidated.
In an open letter to the Constitution Court, the former finance minister said the government did not abide by its explanation to the Constitution Court on the urgency of the royal decree and the government’s performance has clearly displayed its inefficiency in water management.
In fact, the government could have included the loans in the 2012 national budget or sought loans in accord with the Public Debt Management Act (2005) without the necessity to issue a royal decree but the government avoided doing that, Mr Korn said.
The deputy Democrat leader said only five months are left, as given by the royal decree, but the government still does not have any tangible plan, leading to the suspicion that the government intends to spend the huge amount of money without going through any inspection – an activity that will severely damage the country and become a criteria for future governments.
Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong gave assurances that the government will meet the June 30 deadline in obtaining the Bt350 billion loans from various financial sources.
The Water Management and Disasters Committee, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi, will probably call bids for projects related to water management between February and April after which the loans will be fully acquired within June 30, he said.