(30 July) Ministry of
Finance held a meeting at Queen Sirikit Exhibition Centre, discussing about the 2-trillion-baht
decree for infrastructure investment in Thailand.
The two main guest speakers in 2 Trillion
Baht Moving Forward were Kittiratt Na-Ranong, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, and Mr.
Chatchart Sittipan, Transport Minister.
Mr. Kittirat had given some insight information about
the investment on infrastructure, that it should be lower than 25% of national GDP. However, it has
been nearly 10 years that Thailand had suffered economic crises, and had not been properly invested
“Before the crisis, the private sector and public sector had invested more
than 42% of GDP”, Mr. Kittirat was cited, “however, after the crises, we had not invested over
He also said that the maximum level of public debt is set to 60%, which should allow
the government to create debts up to 1 trillion baht. However, each year, the government will create
fund raising campaign and financial restructure worth 1.15 trillion to pay the debts.
information from Bank of Thailand, according to Mr. Kittirat, stated that the nation holds the
liquidity of roughly 3 trillion baht a year, so if the 2 trillion baht is going to be gradually
invested in each projects, the public debt would not reach its maximum.
investment on infrastructure would enhance the GPD growth of the country” Mr. Kittirat said “but I
am not certain whether the private sector would join the investment because some of the projects do
not yield obvious gain”.
Meanwhile, Mr. Chatchart, vowed that the 2-trillion-baht decree will
represent as the main Growth Engine to Thai Economy, enhancing the efficiency of basic
infrastructures in the country to the level that can create prosperity, particularly in terms of
Tourism and Services, AEC Connectivity, Urbanisation and Improving domestic consumption and
The Decree concludes of 53 mega project, including the controversial High
Speed Train. Mr. Chatchart explained that the need to improve the Nation′s infrastructure in
order to seize the opportunity as the central of the region would be great benefits once Thailand
and her ASEAN fellows become ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.
The population in AEC
including those in China, number 1/3 of the World Population Mr. Chatchart said That is the number
of people who can benefit from Thailand′s connectivity infrastructures
In the past 10
years, according to Mr. Chatchart, Thailand had lost its opportunity to develop Mega Project in
infrastructure, and the country had lost 1.7 trillion baht economic damage, partly because of the
occasional flood and political instability.
Mr. Chatchart singled out the case of the
dual-rail train, which in 1993 cost the government 80,000 million baht, however the cost had
increased 5 times in 20 years, projecting at 400,000 million baht in 2013.
Chatchart also clarified that the government would not just borrow 2 trillion baht at
“There are 53 projects in the plan” Said Mr. Chatchart, “Each authority will then
propose the plan, and borrow the money needed for their plan.”
“There are also some gains
from finished programme which will support the liquidity of the decree as a whole.” Mr. Chatchart
The reason the decree was not represented as a national budget was due to
political instability, which may affect the government spending. So by proposing the bill
separately, the decree would still go on according to its timeline in 7 years.
acknowledged there are possibilities of corruption, but he said he trusted law enforcement and check
Mr. Kittipos Jirakul, one of the attendants at the event, told Khaosod
correspondent that he agreed with the plan because it would generate prosperity to the nation as a
whole, while Ms. Suwanna Mekwilai, another attendant from southern Thailand, said that she believed
that the plan should bring the country together.