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Ministry ready to accept loan of Bt170 bn for Thai-Chinese rail project: Apisak

Jun 26. 2017
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By The Nation

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The Finance Ministry is ready to accept a massive loan of up to Bt170 billion to finance the Thai-Chinese high-speed train project pending the Transport Ministry’s final proposal on the controversial scheme, Finance Minister Apisak Tantiworawong says.

The first portion of Bt1.7 billion is already included in the 2018 budget for detailed designs and consultancy work on the Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima route. 

Apisak said terms and conditions will be based on the project’s financing plan and the government can borrow from both domestic and foreign sources.

The finance minister said if China proposes a cheap loan, the government will consider it, so funding is not a problem. At this stage, he said, the Finance Ministry is awaiting the Transport Ministry’s final version of the project.

However, Korn Chatikavanich, a former finance minister of the Abhisit government, said the Thai-Chinese train project should be financed as a joint venture between Thailand and China. He said such a huge investment could lose money and the Thai government would have to set aside a budget to subsidise the service once it is operational.

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