Fiscal policy to 2025 with cabinet

Fiscal policy to 2025 with cabinet

Medium-term budget will still be in deficit

The Red Line railway of the State Railway of Thailand. Increased public debt is attributed to measures to rehabilitate the economy and to infrastructure projects. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
The Red Line railway of the State Railway of Thailand. Increased public debt is attributed to measures to rehabilitate the economy and to infrastructure projects. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

The cabinet on Tuesday acknowledged the medium-term fiscal policy framework for 2022-25 that targets economic growth of 2.7-4.2%.

According to Anucha Buraphachaisri, the government spokesman, under the medium-term framework the government aims for 3-4% growth in 2022, 2.7-3.7% in 2023, 2.9-3.9% in 2024 and 3.2-4.2% in 2025.

Net revenue between 2022-25 is planned at 2.4 trillion baht, 2.49 trillion baht, 2.61 trillion baht and 2.75 trillion baht, respectively, based on the assumption the government can collect value-added tax from overseas electronic service providers, additional fees from the frequency concession and more revenue from petroleum concessions.

Mr Anucha said the government will still operate at a deficit, with expenditure estimated at 3.1 trillion baht in 2022, 3.2 trillion baht in 2023, 3.31 trillion baht in 2024 and 3.42 trillion baht in 2025.

The deficit is estimated at 700 billion baht for 2022, up to 710 billion baht in 2023, but down to 690.5 billion baht in 2024 and 669.50 billion baht in 2025.

As of Sept 30, the country's public debt amounted to 7.84 trillion baht, or 49.3% of GDP, up from 41.1% year-on-year. The rate remains under the 60% limit set for the country.

According to Mr Anucha, the public debt ratio is projected to swell to 9.08 trillion baht in 2021 or 56% to GDP; 9.73 trillion in 2022 or 57.6%, and 10.40 trillion baht or 58.6% in 2023.

The public debt to GDP is projected to reach 10.97 trillion baht or 59% in 2024 and amount to 11.46 trillion baht in 2025 or 58.7%.

Mr Anucha said higher public debt stems largely from the government borrowing to rehabilitate the economy and finance infrastructure projects.

The Public Debt Management Office in October told the Finance Ministry public debt as a share of GDP should not rise beyond 57% over the next five years, with the government incurring an average deficit of 2.8-2.9% of GDP.

The projection accounts for the 1-trillion-baht loan decree, but excludes the possibility of additional loans.

The 1-trillion-baht loan decree was aimed at shoring up the economy against the pandemic.

Public debt would rise to 57% of GDP upon borrowing the full amount of the loan decree.



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