Wed 31 Oct 2007
Filed under: News,Regional
Ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra proposed increasing an Export-Import Bank of Thailand loan to Burma by one billion baht, according to the Assets Scrutiny Committee (ASC). The former Thaksin administration is being investigated for improprieties over the loan, which was increased to four billion baht from three billion.Sak Korsaengruang, chairman of the ASC’s sub-panel investigating the case said Mr Thaksin, then prime minister, proposed the one-billion-baht extension himself. The cabinet had nothing to do with the proposal, Mr Sak said after meeting with former cabinet secretary-general Borwornsak Uwanno, now a National Legislative Assembly member, who was asked to testify in the case.
Mr Sak said Mr Borwornsak verified some documents that had been forwarded to the cabinet, bringing about the resolution to approve the four-billion-baht soft loan to Burma by the bank, also known as Exim Bank.
The deal requires the Finance Ministry to subsidise interest on the loan, provided to Burma at 3% while the true cost to Exim Bank was 4-5%.
The ministry was also required to cover any losses by Exim Bank from the loan extension, Mr Sak said.
In another development, an ASC source said the panel would today file criminal charges against Mr Thaksin’s eldest daughter, Pinthongta, for refusing to testify on the Shin Corp share transaction and on those who were behind the deal.
On Oct 9, Ms Pinthongta submitted a letter refusing to give a statement to the ASC’s sub-panel investigating the Shin Corp deal with Singapore’s Temasek Holdings. She had asked the ASC three times to postpone her testimony before she submitted the letter.