Cabinet permits SRT, MRTA to seek loans for rail projects

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BANGKOK, 27 September 2011  – The Cabinet has authorized the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) to seek loans of over 40 billion THB for funding their railway projects.

During the weekly Cabinet meeting, permission was granted to the SRT to seek a domestic loan worth 1.86 billion THB to be added to the revolving fund for the Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link project with the Finance Ministry as the guarantor. The Ministries of Finance and Transport as well as the Bureau of the Budget were also instructed to determine the feasibility of the policy to impose a flat fare of 20 THB.

In addition, the Cabinet gave the green light to a budget for assisting the SRT and the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) in their provision of free services for commuters. The SRT reportedly asked for 4.15 billion THB for spending on the operation of 164 economical trains, which are expected to benefit up to 31 million low-income earners.

Meanwhile, a budget of 19.38 billion THB was approved for the MRTA’s construction of the BTS Dark Green Line extension from Mo Chit to Saphan Mai. The Cabinet also nodded to another amount of 17.83 billion THB for the extension of the line from Bearing to Samut Prakan.