Finance Minister affirms govt able to seek 350 billion-baht loan


BANGKOK, 29 January 2013  The Finance Minister has assured that the government will be able to acquire the entire amount of the 350 billion baht for its water management projects. 

According to Finance Minister Kittiratt Na Ranong, the government’s water management and flood prevention projects are expected to be opened for bidding during February to April. He affirmed that the money for these projects will be acquired through an issuance of executive decree, allowing the ministry to seek loans of that amount. The government will obtain the entire amount of 350 billion baht by June 30th.

As for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)’s proposition to build the Ayutthaya-Bang Sai floodway, Mr Kittiratt said it was beneficial to the country, saying the government will consider all the bidders’ plans. He insisted that all process will be transparent as this is an international bidding project.

Meanwhile, Democrat Deputy Leader Korn Chatikavanij has submitted an open letter to the Constitution Court stating that the government has no repayment plan for the 350-billion baht loan or a clear water management project.

It explained further that only 4.6 billion baht or 1% of the budget set aside since last year for water management has been disbursed so far, which shows that the the matter is not as urgent as claimed by the government. Mr Korn said the disbursed fund was also used for other projects not related to water management. He alleged that the government intended to wrongfully spend the money and no one could check it; the move would thus breach financial discipline and damage the country.