CHACHOENGSAO, April 1 – The cabinet meeting here in this central province on Sunday approved a budget of Bt622 million for development projects in five central cluster provinces.
About Bt30 million was set aside for the establishment of an ASEAN learning center in Chachoengsao, Bt16 million is allocated for development organic farm and health products in Prachin Buri and Bt38 million is also allocated to improve flood prevention dykes in the province.
Sa Kaeo receives Bt50 million to develop a goods distribution centre.
The planned projects are in line with the development strategy of cluster provinces to support growth around Suvarnabhumi Airport in Samut Prakan province, east of Bangkok. The development will focus on green and energy saving industries.
Transport improvement in Chachoengsao will serve the province’s potential as a centre of commodity distribution. Nakhon Nayok will be a production area of high quality farm products for export. Sa Kaeo is set to be the main gateway for border trade with the neighbouring countries of Cambodia and Vietnam, and a growing zone of biofuel crops, while herbal goods will be developed in Prachin Buri.
Besides development projects for cluster provinces, the Cabinet also approved Bt105 billion for rice-pledging scheme for off-season rice in the February-September plan year. It is expected that about seven million tonnes will be under the project, with mortgage prices of about Bt15,000 per tonne.
Under the regulation, farmers are not allowed to join the campaign more than twice per year and if the pledging price is over Bt500,000 each, it will be scrutinised.
The Cabinet also extended free third-class train and non-air conditioned bus services for another six months to help low-income earners to September 2013 with compensation of Bt2 billion from the government.
The free service will expire at the end of this month.