Missing 50 million baht is a misunderstanding, says govt

Photo via ประยุทธ์ จันทร์โอชา Prayut Chan-o-cha


The Thai government says there has been a misunderstanding about the missing 50 million baht promised to tobacco farmers. The money is still in government coffers and would be distributed to tobacco farmers as promised by May next year.

Last week, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha urged Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan and relevant departments to investigate the missing 50 million baht.

PM Prayut could not understand why the money had not been distributed to the tobacco farmers after it had been approved by the Cabinet.

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The Finance Ministry’s Deputy Minister, Santi Promphat, told Thai media yesterday that the missing budget is a result of a misunderstanding. The Director of the Budget Bureau was confused and gave PM Prayut the wrong information.

Santi added that he and the bureau team had now explained the issue to the PM to make it clearer.

Prime Minister’s Office spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek revealed the government launched a project to support tobacco farmers due to the higher cost of tobacco production.

The money set aside for the tobacco farmers was included in the 112.32 million baht approved budget.

The Tobacco Authority of Thailand has already distributed half of the budget, 56.16 million baht, to the farmers. The other 56.16 million baht is still in the approval process but is expected to be handed over to tobacco farmers before May next year.

ORIGINAL STORY: Thai PM demands investigation into lost 50 million baht budget

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha urged Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan to investigate the disappearance of a 50 million baht government budget.

PM Prayut attended the Cabinet meeting at the Parliament House of Thailand yesterday to discuss the flood situation across the country.

At the end of the meeting, the Deputy Minister of the Finance Ministry, Santi Promphat, suggested PM Prayut compensate residents affected by the flood to encourage and make people happy.

The PM agreed with Santi’s opinion. He said government officials should visit each area and see what the people want. Each official should take care of the needs and complaints but avoid promising residents any compensation. Officials were encouraged to report back to the Cabinet and discuss a suitable budget.

Prayut revealed that he received a complaint from a tobacco farmer when he went to Petchabun province last week on Thursday, October 6. The farmer asked about the 50 million baht compensation they were promised.

Prayut returned to Bangkok and found that the budget had been approved but the affected farmers had not received it. He urged Deputy PM Prawit to investigate.

According to Khaosod today, Deputy PM Prawit refused to answer media questions about the budget. He left parliament and rushed to his car.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin gave an interview with the Thai media today and said the budget was not his responsibility, but he would help to investigate the issue.

Somsak added he was confident that the money was not lost and that the relevant government department responsible will explain it.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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