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Cabinet gives nod to hire high-speed rail consultants

Jul 02. 2019
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By The Nation

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a budget of Bt751 million for the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) to hire consultants to study the design of the Thai-Chinese Railway Phase 2, which stretches 355 kilometres from Nakhon Ratchasima to Nong Khai. The study period is set for 19 months.

Cabinet ministers agreed to create a binding debt across the fiscal year, a central budget for emergency reserves and Bt751.62 million for the SRT to hire consultants on the high-speed electric train project, said Athit Chaiyanuwat, assistant to the Prime Minister’s Office.

The SRT’s Thai-Chinese Railway Cooperation committee recently conducted its 25th meeting to discuss the Nakhon Ratchasima-Nong Khai line as part of joint high-speed rail projects due for completion in 2022.

Thailand will be responsible for designing the civil works of the railway project while China will offer technical assistance in construction.

The Bt751.62-million budget will be split, with Bt112.24 million covering 2019 and Bt638.88 million for the 2020-2021 period.

The budget will also cover three categories. 

Personal compensation will account for Bt506.92 million, split into compensation for key personnel (Bt420.18 million) and for personnel expenses (Bt86.74 million).

Direct expenses will account for Bt195.51 million, divided into office expenses (Bt33.7 million) and cost of exploration, testing and other direct expenses (Bt161.81 million).

The third category will cover VAT, accounting for Bt49.1 million of the budget.

The Budget Bureau said these expenses must not exceed 8 per cent of the annual expenditure budget.

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