The Government has opted to issue a bill on its planned two-trillion-baht loan for infrastructure mega-projects, instead of seeking funds to finance them through the annual national budget process, because it wants the projects to continue without disruption caused by political changes.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra gave an explanation on the bill to the House of Representatives, which began to debate it in the first reading on 28 March 2013.
She said that many mega-projects in the past had been suspended or scrapped because of political turmoil. The annual national budget process is not favorable to investment in large projects that require continuous and long-term implementation. The Prime Minister pointed out that Thailand needs to create confidence among investors about the continuation of the projects and its future development plan.
She explained that the planned investment in infrastructure development was meant to build a better future for the next generation. So the projects should not be changed following political uncertainties. The mega-projects would also attract more investment and strengthen the country’s economy on a sustainable basis.
The Prime Minister said that the two-trillion-baht investment would also be supplemented by the annual budget and investment funds of relevant state enterprises. The private sector would be invited to invest in certain projects, as well. The Government came up with these projects based on four concepts. The first concept involves ASEAN connectivity, linking Thailand with neighboring countries through the double-track system and the high-speed train service.
The second concept emphasizes the distribution of wealth and the improvement of the Thai people’s quality of life. This means that congestion in Bangkok will ease, while new economic centers will be built in the regional areas of the country.
The third concept involves efforts to strengthen Thailand’s economy by linking the production chains of agriculture, industry, and exports. The fourth concept seeks to connect tourism cities in the country. Thailand boasts many natural and cultural tourism destinations. With sufficient transportation and logistics facilities, those destinations will become more attractive to tourists.
The Prime Minister said that the Thai economy over the next seven years of the investment projects would see an increase in GDP by one percent annually. The projects would generate jobs for 500,000 people and help stabilize the overall economy.
Prime Minister Yingluck gave her assurance that the projects would be implemented with transparency, in accordance with the regulations of the Prime Minister’s Office and other related rules and regulations. She urged the House of Representatives and the people to join the Government in building the foundations for the future of Thailand and the next generation.