Parliament to debate Bt2 trillion loan bill in August


BANGKOK, May 16 – The government-sponsored bill seeking Bt2 trillion in loan for Thailand’s infrastructure development will not be ready for debate in Parliament’s extraordinary session on May 29-31, according to Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Varathep Rattanakorn said the legislation will be tabled in the ordinary parliamentary session in August and reasserted that a few months delay will not affect the projects under the borrowing scheme.

One of the major projects involves the high-speed train system which Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt said has several routes which will have to pass through environmental impact assessments (EIA), starting next month.

Construction of the high-speed rail routes will take seven years, he said, adding that the first phase includes the Bangkok-Chiang Mai, Bangkok-Hua Hin, Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima and Bangkok-Rayong routes.

Srettha Thavisin, chief executive officer of Sansiri Public Company Limited, said the rail system will attract provincial investments in various sectors including shopping complexes, hotels and housing estates.

More provincial labourers will also return to their hometowns, he said.

Supaluck Umpujh, vice president of the Mall Group, said the high-speed train project will connect Thailand’s Northeast with the Indochina countries and contribute to tourism, trade and investment in the region.