Thai PM stresses transparency in spending loans

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BANGKOK, March 28 – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra gave reassurances in Parliament today that the spending of Bt2 trillion in loans for Thailand’s infrastructure development will be transparent with strict controls.

In her prelude to today’s Lower House debate of the highly-criticised borrowing, she clarified that the government has resorted to issuing the bill rather than seeking funds from the national budget to enable projects to carry on without disruption in light of the country’s political dynamism.

The long-term loans will not affect Thailand’s financial landscape though public debts against GDP will be higher since the massive investment will automatically increase GDP, she said.

She said internal political disputes since 2006 have hindered the state’s investment for infrastructure development, pushing up transport cost by 15 per cent and pulling down the country’s competitive edge.

“Please don’t argue who initiates the projects. Let us, the Thai people, join forces to lay the groundwork for the future of the new generation,” she said.

Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said the major objective of the bill was to acquire Bt2 trillion loans for urban expansion and to prepare Thailand for economic and trade investment domestically and internationally especially in the Southeast Asian region.

House speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont said the ruling and opposition blocs will have 14 hours and 16 hours respectively to debate the bill, which should take a full day. The opposition has prepared about 60 MPs to take the floor. (MCOT online news)