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Major switch in Patong budget

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Major switch in Patong budget | Thaiger

PATONG: About 50 million baht is to be spent on community services such as education, public health and community activities in Patong’s budget plan for 2002/2003. The budget represents a major switch from heavy infrastructure spending to an emphasis on developing people and communities. After Patong Municipal Council approved the plan yesterday, Sakorn Cheua-yuan, Deputy Mayor of Patong, said, “We want to develop people instead of just building more buildings.” The municipality estimates income for the coming fiscal year, which runs from October 1, at 95.8 million baht, most of which will come from taxes. Apart from community services, about 16 million baht has been allocated for amenities and public works, 22 million for general management and about 8 million for “miscellaneous” work. Last year the municipality’s income was 92.9 million baht, of which about 80 million baht was spent, leaving close to 13 million baht in the Municipality’s reserves. K. Sakorn said, “The municipal economy is pretty healthy. But we still have many problems to solve, especially those involving people. “One thing that Patong cannot develop by itself is cooperation from the public. Most people think only of making money and expect to see what the municipality will do for them. They forget that the money that we have comes from them.” K. Sakorn said that a survey of Patong residents would be conducted to see how they envisage taxes being spent. “In the budget for 2000/2001, which was approved while Pian Keesin was Mayor, most of the money – about 60% – was allocated to buildings and infrastructure. But only about 10% was allocated to developing quality of life, communities and people’s ways of thinking. “That why K. Pian’s budget for 2001/2002 [which was similar] was rejected, because other council members believed that we needed to concentrate more on improving the quality of the people,” K. Sakorn added.

 

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