Cabinet approves freeing up funds from fiscal 2021

Cabinet approves freeing up funds from fiscal 2021

The cabinet on Wednesday approved cutting the investment and regular budgets in fiscal 2021 by 50% and 25% respectively, a move to mobilise funding to ease the financial burden arising from the pandemic.

Narumon Pinyosinwat, a government spokeswoman, said all state agencies are required to revise their fiscal budgets in line with cabinet approval and resubmit them to the Budget Bureau on April 22.

Ms Narumon said cuts should not be made to binding items and suggested funds for seminars, training programmes, public relations, allowances, lodging, vehicles and overseas trips as ripe for the chop.

On Jan 7, the cabinet approved a fiscal 2021 budget of 3.3 trillion baht with a deficit of 523 billion.

The budget for fiscal 2021 is 100 billion baht, 3.1% bigger than the fiscal 2020 blueprint.

The government approved a fiscal budget of 3.2 trillion baht in 2020, with a budget deficit of 469 billion.

The government set a revenue target of 2.78 trillion baht in fiscal 2021, up from 2.73 trillion in the current fiscal year.

The fiscal 2021 budget is based on an economic growth forecast of 3.1-4.1% and an inflation rate of 0.7-1.7%.

Public debt is estimated at 8.24 trillion baht, accounting for 45% of GDP, which is projected at 18.4 trillion baht in fiscal 2021.

The regular budget is set at 2.50 trillion baht in fiscal 2021, making up 76% of the total budget, up 116 billion baht or 4.8% from fiscal 2020. The investment budget was set at 693 billion baht, accounting for 21% of the total budget, up by 37 billion from fiscal 2020.

The budget in fiscal 2021 will focus mainly on social and economic restructuring, economic growth stability, income redistribution to remote areas, local economy development and income disparity reduction.

The government has established a new committee tasked with handling relief measures for people affected by the pandemic by the order of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha issued on April 14.

The committee will also supervise and evaluate the government's existing relief measures to cope with the pandemic's impact.

The committee is chaired by finance permanent secretary Prasong Poontaneat and comprises 11 members from various ministries and representatives from the Royal Thai Police.

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