Thailand’s biggest budget requests come from interior, education, finance ministries

Photo courtesy of Kelly Sikkema (Unsplash)

Thailand’s parliament has disclosed that the Interior, Education, and Finance ministries are making the largest budgetary requests for the ongoing fiscal year. The budget bill, which governs annual expenditure, is set for its initial reading from January 3 to 5, and is anticipated to be approved by April. This follows a delay due to the transition from the preceding to the current government.

The deputy House of Representatives secretary-general, Arphat Sukanan, noted yesterday that the 2024 Budget Bill arrived at the House on Tuesday. The House could take up to 105 days to scrutinise the bill, lasting until April 8. The bill is proposing a funding request of 3.48 trillion baht for fiscal 2024, which began on October 1, reports Bangkok Post.

Of the total amount, 2.53 trillion baht (US$74 billion) is proposed for fixed annual expenditure. Around 118.36 billion baht (US$3.4 billion) is intended to bolster treasury reserves, with 717 billion baht (US$20 billion) earmarked as investment funds and 118 billion baht (US$3.4 billion) allocated for loan repayments.

The ministries with the highest proposed allocations include the Interior Ministry, which is asking for 353 billion baht (US$10 billion), the Education Ministry with a request of 328 billion baht (US$9.6 billion), and the Finance Ministry seeking 327 billion baht (US$9.5 billion). The Defence Ministry is requesting 198 billion baht (US$5.7 billion), while the Transport Ministry is seeking 183 billion baht (US$5.3 billion).

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Conversely, ministries with the smallest proposed budget allocations include the Energy Ministry with 2.7 billion baht (US$79 million), the Industry Ministry with 4.4 billion baht (US$128 million), the Ministry of Tourism and Sports with 5.29 billion baht (US$154 million), the Commerce Ministry with 6.44 billion baht (US$188 million), and the Culture Ministry with 6.7 billion baht (US$196 million).

Arphat elaborated that the House speaker has instructed the parliament to prepare for the budget bill’s first reading from January 3 to 5. Both the government and the opposition will be granted 20 hours each for the debate.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has indicated that the bill will subsequently be forwarded to a committee for further work and will be examined again in the Lower House on April 3 to 4.

Following that, the bill will be submitted to the Senate for a vote on April 9 to 10. Should it be approved, the Secretariat of the Cabinet will send it for royal endorsement on April 17.

In related news, Thailand’s fiscal position geared to absorb potential economic shocks.

Economy News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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