Finance ministry secures deals for 250 billion baht investments

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Following the passing of the fiscal 2024 Budget Expenditure Act, the Finance Ministry has confirmed that new financial agreements for investment projects totalling 250 billion baht have been finalised.

Deputy Finance Minister Krisada Chinavicharana revealed that during the delay in the act’s signing, governmental bodies with pending investment projects initiated their procurement processes. These processes included creating terms of reference (TOR), issuing bids, and opening project tenders. The only step remaining is the formal signing of contracts.

On the act’s enactment, projects that had completed the bidding process and secured successful bidders were able to sign contracts immediately. In addition to these finalised contracts, Krisada disclosed that projects that have completed the bidding process and selected successful bidders but have yet to sign contracts, amount to around 70 billion baht. An estimated 160 to 170 billion baht worth of procurement is currently at the TOR stage.

The Budget Expenditure Act, which was enacted on April 26, was delayed by seven months due to political hurdles. The total expenditure budget for fiscal 2024 stands at 3.48 trillion baht, with government investment contributing 717 billion baht, equating to 20.6% of the total expenditure budget.

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The Comptroller-General’s Department set an investment spending disbursement target of 75% of the total investment expenditure budget. To achieve this, the department has assembled teams to monitor departments with investment budgets, offer consultancy on procurement issues and speed up budget disbursement across various agencies.

As part of this initiative, the department has also sent letters to various government agencies with investment projects, urging them to expedite their investment budget disbursements.

The department is also accelerating the delivery schedule for one-year investment projects, aiming to ensure project completion and disbursement by September this year.

For multi-year commitments representing new investment expenditures, contracts should be completed by May this year, mentioned Krisada. He added that if there are budget items that may not be signed in fiscal 2024, project owners should communicate with the Budget Bureau to explore joint solutions to ensure efficient budget management and avoid budgets lapsing at the end of the fiscal year.

Budget lapsing refers to the practice of cutting budgets for planned projects where contracts cannot be finalised within the fiscal year, reported Bangkok Post.

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