Doubts about bird-nest bids
PHATTHALUNG: A Democrat MP has urged local residents in Phatthalung to monitor this year's bidding for a concession to collect the prized bird nests in their province, saying a group of politicians was backing a certain bidder. Niphit Intharasombat, a Democrat MP for Phatthalung, yesterday said he has obtained credible information that a group of national-level politicians would be involved in this year's bidding for a concession there.
Political interference might cause the state and the province to lose huge sums in terms of revenue, he said, and called on local residents to keep a close watch on the bidding to prevent politicians from profiting.
The Democrat MP also disagrees with the changes made to the terms of the bidding, as the concession fee for a seven-year contract has been set at only 627 million baht.
In the old contract, bird nest collectors were granted a five-year concession with the fees being 100 million baht per year. The old rate was suitable, said the Democrat.
He also disagrees with the new tax, which requires bidders to place assets worth 75% of the concession fees, or 470 million baht, as surety. Under such terms only firms with a huge capital could bid for the concessions, he said.
Wednesday August 13, 2008