State readies funding for development projects

State readies funding for development projects

The government pledges to provide a sufficient annual budget to finance development projects under the 13th national economic and social development plan (2023-27) to ensure the plans can increase economic growth during the period.

Danucha Pichayanan, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), said the plan aims to transform Thailand in five key areas: narrowing income disparity and reducing poverty through innovation; creating a knowledge-based economy and value-added development; human resources development to meet demand in a digital economy; environmental conservation to cope with climate change; and advance preparations to cope with changing global economic and social environments.

Development under the 13th plan is expected to incorporate sufficiency economy principles, the UN's sustainable development goals, the bio-, circular and green economic model and the 20-year national strategy plan.

The annual budget for development projects in the plan is estimated at 500-600 billion baht a year.

Under the 12th plan, from 2017-22, the budget allocated for development projects was at least 20% of the total fiscal budget.

He said budget allocation in the next plan will focus only on specific development projects.

Mr Danucha said the 12th plan was likely to miss its targets as the country still faces problems related to Covid-19.

The 12th plan, which commenced on Oct 1, 2017, aims for economic growth averaging 5% a year.

The economy grew by an average of 4.1% in the first two years of the five-year span before dropping to a 2.3% gain in 2019 and a contraction of 6.1% in 2020.

The government's planning unit on Aug 16 downgraded its economic growth forecast for a third time to a range of 0.7-1.2% this year from 1.5-2.5% made in May, 2.5-3.5% made on Feb 15 and 3.5-4.5% made in November 2020, as Covid-19 cases surge.

The NESDC expects exports will be instrumental to economic growth this year.

Exports are projected to grow by 16.3% this year, up from 10.3% growth in May's forecast, with private investment expanding 4.7% this year.

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