Bt17-billion budget to be allocated for developing EEC
By The Nation
Credit: EEC Office
The government plans to allocate Bt17 billion for development of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) in fiscal 2020, as it wants to speed up investment in the region, especially in transport.
Kobsak Pootrakool, deputy secretary-general to Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, said the government is applying a holistic approach to budget allocation as it needs efficient coordination between many state agencies and educational institutions.
A part of the budget would be used for investment in the high-speed rail project currently waiting for the public-private partnership contract to be signed.
The Highways Department of the Transport Ministry will get the largest share of the budget of Bt9.9 billion, followed by Bt1.3 billion for the National Science and Technology Development Agency.
The Rural Roads department will receive Bt1.2 billion, the Royal Thai Navy Bt799 million and the EEC Office Bt752 million.
Kobsak said that the budget allocation would take into account the impact on the environment and promotion of small businesses in the region.
Educational institutions will also get funding, as they will play a critical role in human resource development for the EEC where an estimated 450,000 highly skilled labour force will be needed over a year.
Burapha University will get a total of Bt1.8 billion, of which Bt 46.3 billion is part of the EEC coordinated budget, Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-ok will get Bt629 million, Rajabhat Rajanagarindra University will receive Bt451 million and a branch of Kasetsart University will get Bt 50 million.
The government will also provide funding to support the three provinces in the EEC: Bt432 million will go to Chon Buri, Bt344.9 million to Rayong and Bt259.9 million to Chachoengsao.
The budget bill for fiscal 2020 will be deliberated by the Parliament later.
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