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Thailand Cabinet Approves 3.48 Trillion Baht Budget for the Next Year



Thailand Cabinet Approves 3.48 Trillion Baht Budget for the Next Year

(CTN News) – During a news conference held after the Thailand Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Srettha announced that the budget bill, which has been thoroughly reviewed by the Office of the Council of State, will soon be presented for approval.

Budget bills are usually sent and sealed before the start of the fiscal year in October. The complex dance of building a coalition administration following the May 14 general election caused a significant delay to this year’s spectacle. With a total of 3.185 trillion baht, the 2024 budget shows a whopping 9.3 per cent increase above the 2023 plan.

A Closer Look at Thailand’s 3.185 Trillion Baht Budget”

Among the enormous allocations, 2.535 trillion baht (72.85%) are designated for fixed expenditures. An enormous 715.381 billion baht will fuel investments, 118.361 billion baht will be used to caress the government reserves, and 118.32 billion will be set aside for loan repayments.

The government is considering a 693 billion baht loan to address the budget imbalance. Revenue is estimated at 2.787 trillion baht, with a GDP of 19.02 trillion, according to the budget documents, as reported by The Nation.

On January 3 and 4, the House of Representatives will hold its first reading of the measure. The House will return on April 3 and 4 for its second and third readings.

The Senate is set to be the centre of attention on April 9 and 10, and if everything goes according to plan, a royal command should be dropped by April 17 as the grand finale.

The House committee overseeing financial planning and spending is working on a proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. In early January, the House is anticipated to examine the plan.

Several state agencies are presently having their budget requests reviewed by the committee, according to Natthapong Ruangpanyawut, the chair and a list MP for the Move Forward Party. The Budget Bureau has lowered these requests from 5.8 trillion baht to 3.48 trillion baht.

Relatedly, the Thai government has denied reports that it may reduce funding for the digital wallet initiative from 560 billion baht to 400 billion baht, claiming that the project aims to stimulate the economy generally and not only help the poor.

Not all beneficiaries will claim their benefits, therefore the program is estimated to cost less than the originally projected 560 billion baht. The government is eager to exclude the wealthy from the program.

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