Cabinet to have final say on how BTSC-BMA dispute is settled
The Cabinet will still have the last say in the new Bangkok governor’s decision over the dispute with Green Line operator Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTSC), Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Saturday.
Wissanu was responding to news that governor-elect Chadchart Sitthiphan is planning to examine the concession contract between the city and BTSC to ensure it complies with the 2019 Public-Private Partnership Act.
Chadchart’s immediate response to the issue has given hope to many that he may be able to end the 32-billion-baht dispute between the Skytrain operator and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).
In September last year, BTSC filed a lawsuit against BMA, suing the city for the 12 billion baht it is owed for operating the Green Line extension and another 20 billion baht it is owed for the train operating system. The suit was filed after the BMA reportedly failed to pay the money owed within the April deadline.
The Interior Ministry, which supervises the BMA, believes the dispute can be solved if BTSC is granted an additional concession contract to settle the debts.
“If the new governor can come up with a different solution, he should propose it to the Interior Ministry, which will then forward it to the Cabinet for approval in line with the Constitution,” Wissanu said. “However, the Cabinet may decide to take a different approach or suggest that the Interior Ministry adjust BMA’s solution as necessary for the country’s benefit.”
The deputy PM also added that there is no deadline within which the Green Line dispute must be settled, but if the Cabinet were to be dissolved suddenly, the new government will still need to follow the same regulations as per the Constitution.