Thai junta approves $34 billion rail line project plan

BANGKOK - Thailand's military junta has approved a plan to invest in urgent infrastructure projects, including 867 billion baht (S$34 billion) for eight dual-track rail lines, a senior official said on Tuesday.

The investments for the projects will be from now till September next year, Soithip Traisutthi, the Transport ministry's permanent secretary, told reporters after a meeting with the army rulers.

Investments have stalled since the Southeast Asian country was hit by political unrest late last year. The army seized power on May 22 in a bid to restore order, and the new government is now approving projects to revive growth.

Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, who is overseeing economic matters for the junta, will discuss with relevant agencies how to finance the projects and submit the plan to the government within a month, Soithip said.

The projects are part of Thailand's longer-term strategic infrastructure plan between the 2015 fiscal year and 2022, proposed by the ministry, which was also approved on Tuesday, she said.

She did not disclose the cost of the longer-term plan but a ministry official had previously said it would cost 2.4 trillion baht.