Public investment disbursement exceeds goal

Public investment disbursement exceeds goal

The public investment budget for the seven months through April was 5.86 percentage points higher than targeted, says a senior official at the Comptroller-General's Department.

State agencies took out 370 billion baht of their investment budget during October 2018 to April 2019, representing 66.7% of the 2019 fiscal budget for investment of 555 billion, said Yanee Sangsrichun, an adviser for fiscal and financial system development at the Comptroller-General's Department.

The disbursed 370 billion baht does not include the supplementary mid-year budget.

For overall budget expenditure, state agencies drew down 1.97 trillion baht for the seven months, accounting for 65.7%, she said.

The disbursed budget outpaced the target by 4.02 percentage points.

State agencies doled out 1.6 trillion baht of the regular budget, representing 67.9% of the total budget of 2.35 trillion for this fiscal year.

Mrs Yanee said the department has urged state agencies to accelerate withdrawal of the investment budget before the end of this fiscal year to avoid the automatic cancellation of the budget, as stipulated in the amended Budgetary Procedure Act, effective from late fiscal 2018.

The act stipulates the budget of any investment project for which contracts are not signed by the end of the fiscal year will be cancelled automatically, aiming at preventing state agencies from carrying over their investment budget to the following fiscal year if project contracts have not been signed.

Public investment also helps shore up the country's sluggish economy amid the global economic slowdown, exacerbated by the mounting US-China trade spat and heightened local political uncertainties.

The department has instructed its teams to monitor state agencies' spending to push them to disburse their budget, and solve problems that are stumbling blocks for disbursement, she said.

The department recently said it wanted to see the entire annual budget expenditure for fiscal 2019 doled out this year.

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