Reviving Economy: Parliament Adopts the Final Reading Budget

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A 3.29 trillion baht budget bill for the 2021 fiscal year beginning in October was approved by the House of Representatives at reviving an economy battered by the global effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Budget planners have predicted the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia would contract 5-6 per cent this year until it will rise 4-5 per cent in 2021. This year, the finance ministry expects a historic 8.5 per cent economic contraction.

The bill ‘s final reading passed after a three-day debate, with 269 votes in favor, 60 opposed and 121 abstentions. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told the House of Representatives that the government would use the budget to improve the economy and urgent policies for sustainable growth of the country.

For the fiscal year beginning on Oct 1, the proposed budget foresees revised spending of 3,29 trillion baht, up 2.8 percent from the current fiscal year. It estimates a 623 billion baht deficit, a rise of 32.8 per cent. The bill would also require approval by the senate, expected on Tuesday, and then royal endorsement by His Majesty the King.

The government said earlier this week that the budget for 2021 could be delayed by a month but that does not affect spending plans.

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