NESDB approves first 213 projects aimed at rebooting the economy
Thailand’s National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) has agreed the first 213 projects, out of about 46,000 proposed by government agencies and local administration organizations, to rehabilitate the economy and a society disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
NESDB Secretary-General, Professor Tossaporn Sirisamphan, told the media today that the chosen projects will use about 100 billion baht, from a total of 400 billion baht of the one trillion baht in loans secured by the Government.
He said that the money will be divided into 2-3 tranches, to ensure continuity in the project implementation, with the first phase to commence in July, coinciding with the expiration of the subsidy packages rolled out by the Government to help people affected by the pandemic.
He indicated, however, that the 100 billion baht must be reduced to about 70-80 billion baht.
The 213 projects are designed to strengthen and develop the grass roots economy and infrastructure, invest in projects that will ensure sustainable growth and stimulate consumption and domestic tourism. They aim at encouraging up to 3.2 million Thais to travel within the country, which will generate about 400,000 tourism-related jobs and assist about 95,000 farmers.
As far as transparency is concerned, Professor Tossaporn said that those implementing the projects will be required to complete documentation on risk assessment and methods, to close loopholes in procurement and fund disbursement.
He explained that many of the proposed projects had already been scrapped, because they did not create jobs or would be of excessive benefit to the contractors.