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July 4, 2007

Govt adopts 2008 deficit of 1.66 trillion baht
The Thai government has adopted a deficit budget of 1.66 trillion baht for the 2008 fiscal year and planned to count on the sufficiency economy principle to manage the budget, according to Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont.

Delivering a speech on a principle and reason for the preparation of a bill on the spending budget of fiscal 2008 before the National Legislative Assembly, he said the government had set a deficit of around 165 billion baht from the spending budget of 1.66 trillion baht.

The decision to run the budget deficit was made with an intention to keep the country’s economic growth and reflect the government’s actual spending costs.

He said the government would still focus on maintaining the fiscal discipline and economic stability for the budget management.

Commenting on the overall picture of the country’s economy, he said the economy this year would grow 4-4.5% with an inflation rate of 3-3.5%.

The current account balance is expected to be in surplus of 3-4% of the gross domestic product.

The internal and external economic position remained sound as the inflation and interest rates stayed low, the public debt to GDP ratio continued to decline, and the international reserve stayed high.

He said the government projected the economy next year would grow 5% with an inflation rate of 3 per cent, boosted by the acceleration of the budget disbursement, investments in mega-projects by state enterprises, and the expected recovery of private consumption and investment due to the easing of political tensions.

The premier revealed the country’s fiscal coffer as of June 30, 2007 totaled 101.22 billion baht.

It is expected the government would manage to collect net revenue of 1.56 trillion baht for the 2008 fiscal year.

He said the government would focus on adopting the sufficiency economy philosophy to manage the spending budget.

It would adhere to the transparent, fair, saving, efficient and balanced approaches to developing the country’s social, economic, natural resource and environment affairs. TNA

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