Thailand investment budget hits nearly 40% in third quarter

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Government investment budget disbursement in the third quarter of this fiscal year surged to almost 40%, nearly doubling the set target due to accelerated disbursement measures, according to Finance Minister Pichai Chunhavajira.

After chairing a meeting of the Budget Disbursement and Public Spending Acceleration Committee, Pichai stated that the swift allocation of the government investment budget has facilitated a quicker circulation of funds within the economy.

In the upcoming three months, efforts will intensify to expedite the investment budget disbursement by government agencies to achieve the 70% target of the 850 billion baht (US$23 billion) budget, he noted.

Held yesterday at the Finance Ministry, the meeting saw participation from over 20 agencies, including the Comptroller General’s Department, the State Enterprise Policy Office (SEPO), and various ministries.

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Pichai explained that investment projects span various agencies and some require coordination with local administrative organisations to resolve operational issues.

He stressed that public sector procurement must adhere to principles of righteousness, appropriateness, transparency, and legal compliance.

Patricia Mongkhonvanit, Director-General of the Comptroller General’s Department, reported that the disbursement target for the third quarter was set at 21%, but they have already achieved 38.6%.

However, some agencies are lagging, and the finance minister has demanded explanations for the delays, Patricia said.

“The current focus is on expediting disbursement for government agencies and provincial clusters that have not met their targets.”

About 10 ministries are behind schedule, and the meeting prioritised key ministries with projects exceeding 10 billion baht (US$273 million).

These ministries are required to report back to the Comptroller General’s Department within a week, especially the Interior Ministry, which oversees all provincial clusters, to ensure prompt disbursement.

She mentioned that most ministries with delayed investment budget disbursements are still in the procurement process and have not signed contracts. Some ministries face issues accessing project sites or need approval for project changes from the Budget Bureau. The meeting urged these ministries to expedite their respective departments to meet the disbursement targets.

Tibordee Wattanakul, Sepo’s Director-General, stated that for state enterprise investment budgets, totalling 257 billion baht (US$ 7 billion) in fiscal 2024, his office aims for disbursement of no less than 95% of the total investment budget. As of February, 51% has been disbursed, higher than the 38% in the previous year, reported Bangkok Post.

“The finance minister has urged all state enterprises and key ministries to speed up.”

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Bright Choomanee

With a degree in English from Srinakharinwirot University, Bright specializes in writing engaging content. Her interests vary greatly, including lifestyle, travel, and news. She enjoys watching series with her orange cat, Garfield, in her free time.

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