NESDC works to expedite spending

NESDC works to expedite spending

B400bn economic rehabilitation budget split into three phases

The second phase of the economic rehabilitation scheme is to focus on job creation, boosting tourism and upskilling and reskilling programmes.
The second phase of the economic rehabilitation scheme is to focus on job creation, boosting tourism and upskilling and reskilling programmes.

The government has set a target to disburse at least 70% of the 400-billion-baht budget scheduled for social and economic rehabilitation in fiscal 2021.

Danucha Pichayanan, secretary-general to the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), said by the end of September next year (the final month of fiscal 2021) at least 70% of the rehabilitation budget is targeted to be disbursed to help expedite economic recovery.

He said the spending plan should be divided into three phases, averaging 100 billion baht each, with the second phase aimed at strengthening the farming sector, water resource development and creating more jobs. The plan is scheduled for proposal to the cabinet soon, said Mr Danucha.

The second phase will focus on job creation, boosting tourism and upskilling and reskilling programmes for workers in automotive, digital, automation and other targeted industries.

In July, the cabinet approved a budget allocation of 92.4 billion baht for the first phase of the 400-billion-baht spending plan, aimed at creating 410,000 jobs.

Mr Danucha said the NESDC is also proposing the cabinet approve the formation of an ad hoc committee chaired by Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith to handle the acceleration of disbursement for projects funded by the 400-billion-baht spending plan.

Effective and rapid disbursement by the government and state enterprises will play a critical part in driving economic recovery next year, he said.

The state planning unit projected the economy in 2021 will expand by 3.5-4.5% from an expected 6% contraction this year. Next year's growth will be mainly supported by the improvement of domestic demand, the recovery of the world economy and global trade, the government budget disbursement and economic stimulus measures, and the low base in 2020.

Private consumption expenditure is expected to increase by 2.4% next year, compared with a 0.9% decline in 2020, owing to the removal of lockdown measures, the continued economic stimulus, improved consumer confidence from successful control of the domestic outbreak and the recovery of the export sector's income base. Government consumption expenditure is projected to expand by 4.7% in 2021, increasing from 3.6% growth in 2020.

Total investment is expected to register 6.6% growth, picking up from a decrease of 3.2% in 2020. Public investment is estimated to increase by 12.4%, continuing from 13.7% growth in 2020.

Private investment, meanwhile, is expected to grow by 4.2% next year, recovering from an 8.9% decline in 2020. This is attributed to the recovery of the world economy and the subsequent acceleration of exports.

The export value of goods in US dollar terms is anticipated to increase by 4.2%, improving from a 7.5% contraction in 2020.

The export of services is expected to be affected by international travel restrictions. Revenue from foreign tourists in 2021 is projected to be 490 billion baht, compared with 460 billion in 2020, an increase of 7%.

Mr Danucha said the ad hoc committee is expected to supervise the investment of infrastructure projects conducted by both the state and state enterprises.

The government aims to expedite the fiscal 2021 annual budget disbursement rate to be at least 94.4% of the total budget, accelerate state enterprises' capital budget disbursement rate to be at least 70%, speed up the carry-over budget disbursement rate to be at least 85%, and ensure the 1-trillion-baht loan decree is at least 70% disbursed.

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