Comptroller-General Department tackles budget disbursement delay

The Comptroller-General’s Department is working to resolve the impediment in hastening budget disbursement, with a focus on speeding up budget funding into the economy for the fiscal year 2024.

Director-General of the department Patricia Mongkhonvanit revealed that the delay in budget disbursement is majorly due to the high volume of appeals submitted by unsuccessful bidders for government projects. Each appeal, regardless of its merit, must be forwarded to the central committee for evaluation, halting the progression of investment projects until a decision is reached.

The department is suggesting the establishment of regional subcommittees for appeals to expedite the review process, as a solution to the problem. Patricia also mentioned that the department has lengthened the disbursement period for carry-over budgets from fiscal 2023, for agreements inked with the private sector. Initially, disbursement was to be finalised by March, but the deadline has been pushed back until September.

The carry-over budget for fiscal 2023 stood at 160 billion baht. Contracts amounting to 159 billion baht, or 99.5% of the total, have already been signed with the private sector. Meanwhile, 50.6% of the carry-over budget, totalling 81 billion baht, has been disbursed.

Patricia revealed that the draft budget for fiscal 2024 is still being reviewed by the House of Representatives, following its passage at the first reading. The budget committee is currently undertaking a detailed examination of the draft.

The government is expected to enact this budget into law by early April, marking a six-month delay from the usual budget timeline. The proposed expenditure budget for fiscal 2024, totalling 3.48 trillion baht, indicates another year of deficit budgeting by the government. To cover the deficit, the budget plan includes borrowing 693 billion baht.

The spending intended to stimulate the economy includes investment spending, which is slated at 717 billion baht for fiscal 2024. The Comptroller-General’s Department has set a target to disburse 75% of the investment budget for fiscal 2024, slightly lower than the previous year’s target of 77.7%, reported Bangkok Post.

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Alex Morgan

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