Connect with us


MoF voices support for Phuket convention center



PHUKET: Ministry of Finance General Inspector Prasit Suebchana met Phuket Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkhaosutthirak today to reaffirm that his ministry will fight for Phuket’s convention center to go ahead.

The international convention and exhibition center (ICEC) project stalled early this month when the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) announced that the project’s plan had failed its initial environmental evaluation (IEE) assessment.

However, Mr Prasit, who is also the vice president of the Treasury Department’s standing committee for the ICEC, today said he had met many local residents who told him none of the “failures” held any credence.

“Treasury Department officials yesterday discussed the issues with Phuket provincial government, business agencies, local organizations and local residents to see what the facts are,” he said.

“As for the site being a location where sea turtles lay their eggs, I had the chance to inspect the area yesterday, and people there said they had not seen sea turtles at that part of the beach for a long time.

“They said sea turtles lay eggs at another part of the beach – not the ICEC site,” he added.

Regarding complaints by the MNRE that the project site was home to what they called “Phuket’s last forest”, Mr Prasit replied, “I have now seen the area. It is not a forest. Most of the area is already bare.

“The trees that are there now will remain untouched and kept as a protected area in accordance with the project plan.”

The project also came under scrutiny following reports that the center, under its current planned design, would not be “tsunami-proof”.

For this, Mr Prasit again turned to local expertise on the matter.

“The local people I spoke to said the tsunami [in 2004] only caused some flooding in that area. Nothing was destroyed. The Tsunami hit Mai Khao Beach about 500-600 meters away, so the area [for the planned ICEC] is not in a tsunami-risk zone,” he said.

As for criticism that the center would not be “worthwhile” in terms of investment, Mr Prasit said the Treasury Department will again report its position on this to the MNRE.

“The Ministry of Finance and Phuket authorities believe the ICEC is worthwhile. The ICEC is needed by Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi. It will help the economies of these provinces,” he said.

“Phuket Vice Governor Somkiet told me that almost 100 per cent of Phuket people support this project. I believe the Treasury Department will push for the ICEC to go ahead, even though it might be delayed, because we have to represent the fact that the ICEC is not going to cause any issues,” he said.

“I do not think there will be any problems. I am certain the new government will support the project.

“I would like to see the people of Phuket help push the ICEC project too,” Mr Prasit added.

Vice Governor Somkiet welcomed Mr Prasit’s support.

“The Phuket Provincial Office strongly supports the ICEC. We need to coordinate with the Phuket Natural Resources and Environment office and local people who disagree with the project,” he said.

“Local residents have to be strong in laying out the facts regarding these complaints. And as for the investment concerns, we already have an agency to take care of investment issues,” he added.

V/Gov Somkiet also voiced deep concerns about the local MNRE office.

“I would like to ask the Phuket Natural Resources and Environment office to take care of their business.

“The Phuket MNRE office only has problems with government projects. They seem to be quiet about what they have done for private businesses,” he said.

— Chutharat Plerin


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand15 mins ago

Is the dream over? China walks back Belt & Road ambitions

Politics1 hour ago

Prasert levels 6-billion corruption accusations at Prayut

Thailand1 hour ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Baht plunges to 38 against USD for the first time in 16 years

Sponsored3 hours ago

Segafredo Zanetti Coffee teamed up with Bangkok Airways and hosted “Bangkok Airways Surf Festival 2022”

Phuket2 hours ago

Phuket dwellers honour 10th Lunar Month

Thailand2 hours ago

Thai govt owes 100 million baht to hospitality industry

Thailand3 hours ago

BMA reveals Bangkok druggies buy yaba online 

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Phuket3 hours ago

Delivery driver & customer brawl over payment in Phuket

Transport3 hours ago

Thai Airways flying high at Skytrax Awards

Thailand3 hours ago

Soi Dog Foundation steps up fight against rabies and dog meat trade in Vietnam

Visa3 hours ago

Thailand to extend Smart Visa scheme to draw talent

Cannabis4 hours ago

Can I take cannabis on domestic flights in Thailand?

Thailand4 hours ago

Thailand pays 3.8 billion baht for first train hub in hospital

Transport5 hours ago

Bomb scare on flight from San Francisco to Singapore

South5 hours ago

English teacher’s body found in South Thailand

Hot News5 hours ago

Indian teacher flees after beating lowest caste student to death over spelling mistake

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11