Phuket gets nod for B47bn funding
PHUKET: On the second and last day of its high-profile mobile sessions in Phuket, the Thai Cabinet yesterday approved budgets totalling just over B84 billion for 117 projects in five of the six Andaman coast provinces – Phuket, Ranong, Phang Nga, Krabi and Trang.
Wednesday 21 March 2012, 02:37PM
Phuket will get the lion’s share of the money – B47 billion – over the coming few years, but this is a long way short of the budgets the island sought.
It also supported projects to improve Phuket’s transport infrastructure, though concrete budgets were agreed only for road improvements and expansion of the airport
The money will come in slowly – just B600 million was budgeted by the Cabinet for spending this year.
Deputy Government Spokesman Chalitrat Chantarubeksa announced after the mobile Cabinet meeting at Prince of Songkla University (PSU) Phuket campus, that 10 of the projects approved were for all Andaman provinces as a whole.
These will soak up about B24 billion overall, with B101 million being paid out this year on four projects seen as promoting tourism in the region generally:
A new pier at Koh Yao Noi in Phang Nga province (B30 million),
Development of Sukorn Island in Trang province as a new destination (B30 million),
Promoting safety awareness among tourists in all five provinces (B25 million); and
Developing water supplies to support tourism (B20 million).
The other projects approved, totalling about B59 billion, are for individual provinces.
Phuket – though the smallest of the provinces – received approval for the largest number of projects: 67, with a total budget of about B47 billion. Thirteen projects were approved for Phang Nga, with budget of B3.8 billion, 10 for Krabi with a similar budget, 11 for Ranong (B4 billion) and six for Trang (just B334 million).
The government will by no means have to cough up all the money just yet, Mr Chalitrat said. At present only 23 of the 117 projects are ready to start. These will entail spending of B628 million in the current budget year, B102 million on the Andaman region projects and B526 million on the individual province projects.
Mr Chalitrat said that senior officials involved with all the projects must submit detailed budgets to Finance Ministry’s Budget Bureau within two weeks in order to be allocated budget.
Phuket’s allocation from the B526 million budget for 2012 is B113 million, covering six projects:
A reservoir behind Suan Luang public park (B25 million);
A pipeline to deliver water from Baan Bangjo to Phuket International Airport (B25 million);
A marine traffic control system for Phuket waters (B17 million);
Restoration of the Phaya Wichit Songkram mansion in Tha Rua, in Thalang district (B9 million);
Improvements to Chao Fah East Rd (B20 million); and
Installation of speed traps around the island to improve road safety (B17 million).