Budget spending surpasses state target
Public investment budget disbursement has surpassed the target by three percentage points for the 10 months through July, according to the Comptroller-General's Department.
From October 2018 to July this year, state agencies have taken out 442 billion baht of the 553 billion in the investment budget for fiscal 2019, said Yanee Sangsrichun, the department's spokesperson.
The portion of budget disbursement excluding the mid-year supplementary budget for the 10 months through July was 79.8% of this year's investment budget, she said.
Mrs Yanee said 2.2 trillion baht, representing 87% of fiscal 2019 budget expenditure excluding the mid-year supplementary budget, was drawn down for the first 10 months.
The disbursed amount was 2.34 percentage points higher than the target for the period.
For the regular budget, 1.76 trillion baht, or 89% of the total regular budget, was doled out during the 10 months through July.
She said 297 billion baht of the 341 billion worth of carry-over budget was taken out in the first 10 months of fiscal 2019.
The department urged state agencies to speed up signing contracts or building up debt liabilities by the end of September to avoid the budget being dropped in the following fiscal year, and to achieve the government's budget disbursement target.
According to the amended Budgetary Procedure Act, effective from late fiscal 2018, 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.
State expenditure for fiscal 2019 is set at 3 trillion baht, with a budget deficit of 450 billion.
Public investment can help shore up the country's sluggish economy amid the global economic slowdown, exacerbated by the mounting US-China trade spat.