Democrat Party cries foul over late-fine exemption for Sino-Thai

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Democrat Party cries foul over late-fine exemption for Sino-Thai

Democrat Party cries foul over late-fine exemption for Sino-Thai


The Democrat Party on Wednesday cried foul over the House Secretariat’s amendment of a construction contract to exempt the contractor from all late construction fines, instead of exempting it only for the Covid-19 pandemic period.

Democrat secretary-general Tawee Sodsong said the Secretariat for the House of Representatives should have isolated the Covid-19 pandemic period from the number of days Sino-Thai Engineering & Construction Plc failed to complete construction of the Parliament Complex.

Instead, the secretariat freed the company from paying any late completion fine.

Tawee noted that the original contract set the completion date for construction of the complex on December 31, 2020.

The original contract stipulated that if Sino-Thai failed to finish by the deadline, it would be fined on a daily basis at the rate of 0.10% of the project’s value, or about 12.28 million a day, plus the cost of hiring foremen and project advisors for 332,140 baht (about 12.61 million baht) per day.

Tawee said the fines should be counted from January 1, 2021.

On July 1, 2022, Sino-Thai asked the House Secretariat to check and approve its construction work. The committee in charge of the project, however, refused to certify completion of the project, saying there were still defects the contractor needed to fix.

Tawee said as of Wednesday, Sino-Thai could not declare the project completed, so the total delay was 778 days.

Tawee said Sino-Thai refused to pay late completion fines on the grounds that it had sought and received exemption from fines in accordance with a Cabinet resolution made on August 3, 2021. The resolution stated that the contractors affected by the Covid-19 pandemic should be fined at the “zero rate”.

Instead of restricting Sino-Thai’s exemption from fines to the pandemic period, Tawee said, the House Secretariat amended the contract to extend the “zero rate” past the pandemic period.

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