A Pheu Thai spokesman said yesterday he would file the BTS contract extension with the Department of Special Investigation for an inquiry.
However, a Democrat deputy spokesperson said the deal was not drawn up for a concession extension and would benefit the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.
Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit said he sensed something bad in the BMA’s extension of the contract with Bangkok Thanakom Co Ltd. He claimed the deal was beyond the BMA’s authority and that the matter should be decided by the Interior Ministry.
The BMA, administrated by the Democrats, had not presented any sound clarification for it. Bangkok people and the nation would lose money to a private company, he claimed.
Prompong said Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva should have played a proper role by scrutinising the matter. But Democrat deputy spokesperson and Bangkok MP Rachada Dhnadirek said the 13year extension was a hiring contract, not a concession. It meant the company would get only an operation fee and wouldn’t have any stake in profit gained by the operation.
“The extension was for the hire (of the company to) run the train. All the income belongs to the state. The company gets only the hire fee. It has no right to administrate the assets. That belongs to the BMA,” Rachada said.
She explained that the 23kilometre main routes, Sukhumvit and Silom lines, were a joint venture. After the 30year contract ends in 2029, the assets become the BMA’s assets. The contract was only for extended sections of the main routes. The BMA was the sole investor for the extended parts of the routes such as TaksinWong Wian Yai. Therefore, the law on stateprivate joint ventures would not be applicable in this case.
“The Pheu Thai Party should be openminded. Stop attacking just because the BMA administration comes from the Democrat Party. The extension of hiring contract time for the BTS for the extended routes, whose budget was set at Bt4.658 billion, received approval from the Bangkok Council unanimously on March 8.
“The meeting attendants included 56 council members, 42 of whom are the Democrats and 14 are from Pheu Thai. Why are Pheu Thai MPs crying out? Why don’t you go back and ask the Pheu Thai Bangkok councillors?” Rachada said.