Thai parliament passes $64 billion infrastructure bill

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bangkok traffic1Thailand’s parliament on September 20 approved a bill to borrow 2 trillion baht, or $64 billion, to finance seven-year infrastructure projects aimed at sustaining economic growth and boosting investment at a time of weak exports.

The government has said the funding for the projects, including high-speed railways and mass-transit systems – proposed by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra – will be completed by 2020, with repayments spread over 50 years.

“This is necessary for the country’s development,” Finance Minister Kittirat Na Ranong said. The borrowing bill will still need to go to the Senate for final approval. The funding will not come from the central government budget but will be mainly from the domestic market, where excess liquidity is high, at more than 3 trillion baht ($96.5 billion), Kittirat said, adding that some of the borrowing would be from overseas.

The Finance Ministry said the government planned to issue dollar bonds worth $1 billion to $1.5 billion in 2014, to help finance the infrastructure programme and a water management scheme.

The government also has plans for a flood management project worth 350 billion baht ($11 billion), aimed at preventing a repeat of devastating flooding in late 2011 that cut economic growth to 0.1 per cent.

Despite the huge borrowing plans, Kittirat has said public debt would not exceed half of gross domestic product (GDP). It stood at 44.1 per cent by July, below a ceiling of 60 per cent.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Thailand’s parliament on September 20 approved a bill to borrow 2 trillion baht, or $64 billion, to finance seven-year infrastructure projects aimed at sustaining economic growth and boosting investment at a time of weak exports.

Reading Time: 1 minute

bangkok traffic1Thailand’s parliament on September 20 approved a bill to borrow 2 trillion baht, or $64 billion, to finance seven-year infrastructure projects aimed at sustaining economic growth and boosting investment at a time of weak exports.

The government has said the funding for the projects, including high-speed railways and mass-transit systems – proposed by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra – will be completed by 2020, with repayments spread over 50 years.

“This is necessary for the country’s development,” Finance Minister Kittirat Na Ranong said. The borrowing bill will still need to go to the Senate for final approval. The funding will not come from the central government budget but will be mainly from the domestic market, where excess liquidity is high, at more than 3 trillion baht ($96.5 billion), Kittirat said, adding that some of the borrowing would be from overseas.

The Finance Ministry said the government planned to issue dollar bonds worth $1 billion to $1.5 billion in 2014, to help finance the infrastructure programme and a water management scheme.

The government also has plans for a flood management project worth 350 billion baht ($11 billion), aimed at preventing a repeat of devastating flooding in late 2011 that cut economic growth to 0.1 per cent.

Despite the huge borrowing plans, Kittirat has said public debt would not exceed half of gross domestic product (GDP). It stood at 44.1 per cent by July, below a ceiling of 60 per cent.

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