Somkid tells PPP projects to hurry up or scrap it

The Thai government told public agencies and private companies within public-private partnership (PPP) projects on Friday to hurry up with their investment pipeline or scrap it and make new ones.

Somkid Jatusripitak, Deputy Prime Minister, who chaired the State Enterprise Policy Office (SEPO)’s PPP meeting on Friday, said SEPO should find out why the majority of PPP projects have been delayed by six to ten months now.

“Some delay is fine but it should not be up to a year,” he said. 

According to SEPO, there are 90 PPP projects worth 1.09 trillion baht. There are 18 projects worth 472 billion baht; ten of them have been delayed.

They said the biggest PPP project is the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand’s Orange Line valued approximately at 200 billion baht. It has been delayed because of a sudden shortage of tools and materials from China.  

Somkid said there are two types of PPP projects. He had already instructed the first type, such as PTT and Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), to accelerate their investment.

The deputy PM told PTT on Thursday that they should quicken its investment plans for 2020 and 2021 without missing any targets. If they cannot do that, they will have to come up with new plans.

Somkid also told stakeholders with PPP projects to hurry with their investments on Friday in order to create more jobs and stimulate the Thai economy in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak.

Somkid said the second type of PPP projects is those within the pipeline. They have all been delayed in 2020.

He added if SEPO cannot find out why all of these projects have been delayed then the project should be scrapped.

“If the investment is being delayed for no good reason or they do not want to invest anymore then these projects should be cancelled,” he said.

If more incentives are needed, then the matter will be sent to the Board of Investment for consideration, Somkid added.

Uttama Savanayana, Finance Minister, said most of the PPP projects within the pipeline were delayed because of the drop in domestic demand and exports from the outbreak, not because the project owners did not want to invest. 

He said the ministry will coordinate with related agencies to accelerate these PPP investment projects. 

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