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2020 fiscal budget emergency fund running dry – Budget Bureau

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PHOTO: Dechapiwat na Songkhla, director of Thailand's Budget Bureau - nationthailand.com

“The emergency fund of 96 billion baht from the fiscal 2020 budget has been nearly used up,” according to Dechapiwat na Songkhla, the director of Thailand’s Budget Bureau.

Dechapiwat explains that the budget includes…

  • 18 billion baht to help people who are affected by Covid-19 and drought,
  • 45 billion baht for cash handouts, and…
  • 2 billion baht as compensation of interest for the Government Housing Bank.

“The Bureau will report the matter to the Cabinet on Tuesday (tomorrow) and if the government does not make a decision soon, we might not have enough funds for additional measures to cope with Covid-19 and the drought problem as well.”

“The Bureau will propose 2 approaches to solve this problem.

The first approach is to have the Ministry of Finance issue an emergency loan decree. However, this approach will need to consider whether it complies with the constitution, as Section 140 stipulates the emergency loan decree only allowed for expenditures approved in the budget spending list. And the Constitution’s Section 172 stipulates that loans for emergencies can be immediately approved. This approach may take some time, as we will need the Constitutional Court’s ruling first.”

The second approach is to have the Cabinet issue the Budget Transfer Act to transfer unused budget from government agencies that have leftover budget or no immediate projects to use it in the next few months for an emergency fund.  This approach can be done faster and has no legal obstacles.

“However, it is up to the Cabinet to consider which approach to use to fix the problem.”

SOURCE: The Nation

 

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