Thai court rules against funding for huge infrastructure project

Thai court rules against funding for huge infrastructure project
Anti-government protesters gather outside the Royal Thai Police Headquarters during a rally in downtown Bangkok on March 6. Protracted political protests in the Thai capital have hurt business confidence and tourism.

BANGKOK - Thailand's Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday that a 2 trillion baht (S$78 billion) borrowing bill for government infrastructure projects was illegal and violated the Constitution.

"Both the wording and drafting process were unconstitutional," a court official, who declined to be named, told Reuters.

The infrastructure projects had been expected to support the economy from last year, but were held up by the court case.

The ruling is an additional blow to the economic outlook this year, on top of protracted political protests that have hurt business confidence and tourism.

The parliamentary opposition had asked the court to decide if it was legal for such huge projects to be funded off-budget.

The planned projects include high-speed railways, highways and mass-transit networks in Bangkok.

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