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Thai Cabinet approve budget deficit

The 2014 Thai national budget has been set at 2.52 trillion baht, an increase of 125 billion baht, or 5.2 percent from the 2013 national budget.

Aishwarya Gupta

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The Cabinet, during its meeting on 12 February 2013, approved the national budget for the 2014 fiscal year and budget allocation for local administrative organizations.

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The 2014 national budget has been set at 2.52 trillion baht, an increase of 125 billion baht, or 5.2 percent from the 2013 national budget.

It will be a deficit budget, as the Government has set a deficit of 250 billion baht. Revenue earned by the Government in 2014 is projected at 2.27 trillion baht. Budget planning for the 2014 fiscal year places emphasis on Thailand’s national strategies for the realization of the ASEAN Community in 2015 and the continuation of the Government’s major policies.

The new national budget also attaches great importance to the Government’s 16 urgent policies contained in the policy statement, delivered by the Prime Minister to the National Assembly in August 2011. It seeks to integrate work carried out by various agencies in response to the demands of local people. The objectives are to increase the people’s income, reduce their expenditure, provide them with greater opportunities, improve the people’s quality of life, and enhance Thailand’s competitiveness.

In addition, the 2014 national budget takes into account a royal decree to allow the Ministry of Finance to secure loans for water resources management and future development and a draft bill seeking to empower the Ministry of Finance to secure loans for investment in transport infrastructure.

The Cabinet told various ministries to review or scrap the projects that are not in line with the Government’s policies and the present situation, based on the “review, redeploy, and replace” principle, so that budget allocations would be used for projects that are more important.

As for budget allocation for local administrative organizations, the Government focuses on enhancing the potential of these organizations and increasing their efficiency in income collection. In order to reduce fiscal disparity, the Government has allocated more funds for local administrative organizations with low income. The main objective is to enable them to carry out their activities for local fiscal sustainability. Moreover, budget allocation for localities also aims to provide public services to improve local people’s quality of life.

Local administrative organizations represent the central administration in distributing monthly allowances to the elderly, disabled persons, AIDS patients, and village public health volunteers. They also help the Government in drug prevention and control, water management, and education management.

The Government decided to allocate 256.5 billion baht in the 2014 budget for local administrative organizations. The amount represents an increase of 8.5 percent from 2013, when 236.5 billion baht was allocated for them.

The implementation of the 2014 national budget will begin on 1 October 2013 and end on 30 September 2014. Inside Thailand — National Budget for the 2014 Fiscal Year Wins Cabinet Approval

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