It is quite clear now the four high-speed train development projects, costing more than
The Yingluck Shinawatra administration planned to build four high-speed train lines from
Construction of the first phase of the four routes ? Bangkok-Phitsanulok, Bangkok-Hua Hin, Bangkok-Rayong and Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima ? was expected to be completed by 2019.
According to the source, the new infrastructure projects are likely to tap the fiscal budget, borrowing and public-private partnerships (PPPs), and the outlay would be cut back to about
Priority projects would primarily be dual-track railways, motorways, highways in remote areas, ports, an upgrade of existing four-land roads and skytrain extensions. Nonetheless, they have to go through the usual approval process in which the project's owners are required to propose their development plans to the
Chula Sukmanop, director-general of the
Projects for PPPs should go for motorways linking Nonthaburi's Bang Yai district with Kanchanaburi, Pattaya with Map Ta Phu, and
The 98km Bang Yai-Kanchanaburi link is estimated to cost
The 32km Pattaya-Map Ta Phut motorway, meanwhile, needs investment of 14.2 billioIt could take at least five or six years to settle the estimated loss and interest burdens incurred from the Yingluck Shinawatra administration's flagship rice-pledging scheme, according to a
Academics have estimated that losses from pledging rice at 40-50% higher than market prices could reach
Further delays in releasing stockpiled rice will add to the time it takes to settle the loss and interest burdens, the source said.
The source said about
The scheme was aimed at boosting rice farmers' income and driving domestic consumption. The government withheld a large amount of rice from the market in the hope the price would rise. The move backfired when supply from other countries flooded the market and put pressure on prices.
Moreover, the rollover of debt payment will limit the
In the 2014 fiscal year, the ministry's credit guarantee to state enterprises accounts for almost 10% of government expenditure, offering more room for a rollover of debt payment.
The country's public debt stands at
Rice exporters estimated the government has kept 15-16 million tonnes of milled rice that accumulated from the scheme over the past three years. It may take up to three years to clear the huge stock even if the rice scheme is stopped to prevent new supplies entering state stocks.
Holding a large amount of stock and speedy exports by the
Based on May statistics from the
The association's president Charoen Laothamatas suggested authorities make a comprehensive stock check to classify the quality of grains kept in state warehouses.
Knowing the quantity and condition of rice could help the state outline sales plans more efficiently and increase rice prices, he said. More importantly, authorities may focus on the sale of newly harvested rice while managing the sale of old rice through auctions.n baht.
(c)2014 the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand)
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