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Phuket's Anchalee Vanit Theppabut (right) with the PM during HM The King's birthday speech

Phuket's Big Budget Boost for Twin Projects

Monday, December 14, 2009
PHUKET has been granted a huge budget boost for the financial year that begins in October 2010, with Cabinet approving spending of 10 billion baht.

This does not mean all of Phuket's problems will suddenly be fixed.

Most of the money is headed for two big projects, 5.8 billion for the Phuket International Airport upgrade and 2.6 billion for the conference and sport centre at Mai Khao, in the island's north.

Most of the additional 1.6 billion will go on a plan to provide a year-round water system for the island's north.

Phuket's usual running budget is 158 million baht, paid direct to the provincial government. Education, health, roads and most other infrastructure is funded separately from Bangkok.

The announcement of the special budget contents was made at Provincial Hall in Phuket City on Friday by Anchalee Vanit Theppabut, Deputy Secretary General to the Prime Minister.

The two large projects form part of the national Thai kem kang (Strong Thailand) scheme.

The airport upgrade will include a new international terminal and other improvements that will increase capacity from the existing 6.5 million arrivals and departures to about 12 million.

Khun Anchalee, a former Phuket politician, says the enlarged airport will enhance Phuket's position as the air hub for travellers to the Andaman region.
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