The government is expediting the Transport Ministry’s mega-investment projects worth almost 2 trillion baht to stimulate financial flows and deal with anticipated volatility in the global economy next year.
One project is the Nakhon Pathom-Cha-am motorway scheme, is awaiting a ministerial regulation on the construction of resting places along the route.
Kobsak Pootrakul, deputy secretary-general for political affairs to the prime minister, said the Transport Ministry’s 44 projects worth a total of 1.94 trillion baht were discussed at Friday’s meeting of economic ministers.
The ministers hope to speed up the projects, which remain stalled. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Massive investment budgets earmarked for the projects will help spur the country’s economic growth and create jobs, said Mr Kobsak, who served as secretary to the meeting of economic ministers.
Of the 1.94 trillion baht, 259.7 billion baht is drawn from the national budget, 1.2 trillion baht from loans, 338 billion baht is in the form of public and private partnerships, and 147.6 billion is from government revenues and funds.
The Transport Ministry told the meeting that some projects face stumbling blocks, such as the 63-billion-baht Bang Yai-Kanchanaburi motorway project.
The project has made slow progress and is already two years behind schedule because of land expropriation issues.
The project is still waiting for the cabinet to approve the additional 8-billion-baht budget needed to enable the land expropriation for the 96km-long motorway, which faces stiff opposition from landowners because land prices have more than doubled since the project was approved by the government, according to the Department of Highways.
According to the department, the project is likely to affect more than 1,000 houses and 5,000 land plots across Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Ratchaburi and Kanchanaburi provinces.
The Department of Highways urged the cabinet to act quickly after 200 residents of tambon Bang Taku in Nakhon Pathom’s Muang district demanded compensation for their expropriated land.
Although the compensation was approved by the government two years ago, the residents complained they have not received a single baht for their land, which they have already handed to the state.