Bestlin Group, the firm contracted to procure 489 natural gas for vehicle air-conditioned buses to the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority, on December 8 proposed a deal with the Finance Ministry amid fears it might be ineligible for a 40% import duty exemption for the buses. The firm said the government stands to pay 3.3 billion baht to buy the vehicles, with the sum still outstanding. Bestlin asked that in the event the vehicles are not eligible for the 40% import duty exemption and an additional duty is incurred, the government should deduct the extra duty from the hiring cost it has to pay the firm. Bestlin Group president Kanist Srivachiraprapa said on December 8 the company was preparing to submit a formal request for the proposed deal to both the BMTA and the ministry. This would be the best possible solution to the problem as the company had invested more than one billion baht in supplying the buses to the BMTA but had not yet been paid for the job, Mr Kanist said.