For the first time, Thailand is working on completing a nationwide master plan for state land to make maximum use of each location and accommodate future economic growth.
“Once all parties finish their tasks, the master plan will be presented to the government, which will consider how to develop particular land parcels,” Chakkrit Parapuntakul, a deputy permanent secretary at the Finance Ministry, said last week.
“It remains to be seen which ones are appropriate for social use like public parks or which possess economic potential.”
The government’s policy is to enhance the value of public . The Treasury Department and the State Enterprise Policy Committee will lead the mission.
A similar move was made in 2008 to review the use of millions of rai of land owned by the Treasury Department, but the purpose was to deal with the food crisis and the land was used to grow food and fuel crops. Treasury land encompasses 12.5-million rai nationwide.
The new survey will kick off in Bangkok and major cities and is expected to be completed in three months.
The Pheu Thai-led government |is embarking on a Bt2.27-trillion infrastructure investment scheme |for 2013-19. Some land could be turned into ports, parking lots or train stations to support logistics network development.
Among state enterprises holding vast land banks are the State Railway of Thailand with 234,977 rai nationwide, Port Authority of Thailand with 2,353 rai, of which part is located at the Bangkok Port, and Thailand Tobacco Monopoly |with 600 rai in the heart of the capital.
There is no systematic record of treasury or state enterprise land. The number of plots and their size and location are unknown. Without the data, it is difficult to pinpoint their potential for social or economic development.
“The survey of each plot will maximise the social and economic gains from treasury land development. For example, if Thailand needs a new financial centre or a government centre, we will know where it should be sited,” he said.
Some of the landholdings, including some along main railroad routes and those on Ratchadaphisek Road, are now leased to private organisations. Development plans for them will have to wait until the leases expire.
Pending completion of the master plan, any new lease will be put on hold, he added.
Source : The Nation 4 February 2013