Thai Cabinet okays PPP Promotion Act draft bill

  • The cabinet on 3 Apr greenlighted a long-awaited draft bill of the PPP Promotion Act, which aims to facilitate and ensure transparency in joint public-private investment in infrastructure projects.
  • The new act is expected to encourage the private sector to team up more with the government in developing infrastructure and public services, expedite infrastructure development and ensure greater efficiency.
  • Mr Ekniti Nititanprapas, director-general of the State Enterprise Policy Office (Sepo) said that under the new act the cabinet is empowered to tackle obstacles and any delays caused by state regulations and ministerial regulations for the Thailand Future Fund that will be issued to financially support the PPP development projects.
  • The prospective PPP developments cover 12 categories of the national infrastructure plan: roads (highways and motorways), railways, airports, seaports, water management, irrigation, energy, telecommunications, science/technology, hospitals, schools and housing for low-income earners.
  • Mr Ekniti said four state agencies have been tasked with screening PPP projects: the National Economic and Social Development Board, the Finance Ministry, the Public Debt Management Office and the Budget Bureau.
  • He said the PPP Promotion Act also lets the public inspect all stages of the PPP process of each project. It requires project owners to conduct market soundings.
  • The PPP committee in 2017 approved a five-year strategic plan for joint investment projects worth THB1.62tr. The scheduled projects are intended to accelerate infrastructure investment amid budget constraints and sharpen the country’s competitive edge.
  • Under the five-year strategic plan through 2021, 94% of the THB1.62tr will involve transport infrastructure and overall logistic costs are projected to be cut by 2-3 percentage points from 13-14% of GDP once the projects are completed.
  • The transport projects under the five-year PPP strategic plan will be divided into two groups: projects for which the government wants the private sector to play a role, such as high-speed trains, rail systems in Bangkok and ports for shipping goods; and projects in which the government is encouraging the private sector to invest, such as airports and motorways.

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