Delay in fiscal 2021 budget disbursement will not affect Thai government spending, says Deputy Prime Minister

Bangkok –

The disbursement of the fiscal 2021 budget is likely to be delayed by a month but it will not affect government spending and public investment, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Monday, September 14.

The fiscal budget is generally annually implemented on October 1 but the 2021 budget is reportedly expected to be deferred by 1 to 2 weeks since the government has been improving the budget to cope with the scale of the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, which was declared as a national agenda.

The Budget Bureau had previously announced that the delayed budget was initially expected to be 3.3-trillion-baht and it is currently being revised by the cabinet.

According to finance ministry secretary Prasong Poontaneat, the Thai government still functionally managed its spending, including local elections and other public investment projects, as it still has 300 billion baht from fiscal 2020 in its treasury reserves.

The delay together with the postponement of pension allowance distribution has created a public rumor stating that the government is experiencing a budget shortage. However, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has dismissed the suggestion, claiming that the government has sufficient budget reserves to cover payouts while the budget is being considered. The issue with pensions being delayed was attributed to “clerical errors” according to individuals with relevant agencies and not associated with an actual lack of funds. All affected parties by the delay on pensions are expected to be paid out by the end of the month, noted the Thai Government.

The Prime Minister also told reporters that he had also asked Deputy Finance Minister Santi Promphat, chairman of the House committee on scrutiny of the Budget Bill, to speed up the deliberation process.

Photo Courtesy: National News Bureau of Thailand

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