ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Revised Thai fiscal budget in January
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday chaired a meeting of senior officials to discuss the government's policies. She asked state agencies to complete their spending plans by September 13.
The cabinet is expected to consider a draft framework for the fiscal 2012 budget on Sept 6 with further details to be reviewed on October 25. If approved, the budget would be presented to Parliament in January.
The previous Democrat-led government prepared a 2.25-trillion-baht draft budget for 2012 with a deficit of 350 billion baht. The new Pheu Thai-led administration is revising the budget in line with its announced spending policies but disbursements would not start until February, even though the 2012 fiscal year starts on Oct 1.
Walairat Sriarum, director-general of the Budget Bureau, said the government could disburse the remaining amount of the 2011 fiscal budget on projects already approved, and continue with regular expenditures.
Even though only five weeks remain in the current fiscal year, the 1.035 trillion baht left in the fiscal 2011 budget is about half of the total that was approved, indicating the slow pace of disbursements.
There is also a reserve budget for emergency cases of 40 billion baht.
The government can use existing budget funds for forthcoming fiscal expenditures or for urgent projects if they are the same as those already outlined for fiscal 2011. However, no disbursements for new projects will be allowed until the 2012 budget is passed.
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