Cabinet okays B3.185tn budget for fiscal 2023

Cabinet okays B3.185tn budget for fiscal 2023

The Pink Line train is seen under construction in Bangkok, as the government plans more mass transit rail projects in the capital and other key cities this year. The cabinet on Tuesday approved a 2.7% hike in the budget for the 2023 fiscal year. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
The Pink Line train is seen under construction in Bangkok, as the government plans more mass transit rail projects in the capital and other key cities this year. The cabinet on Tuesday approved a 2.7% hike in the budget for the 2023 fiscal year. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The cabinet approved on Tuesday a fiscal 2023 budget worth 3.185 trillion baht with a deficit of 695 billion.

The fiscal 2023 budget is 2.74%, or 85 billion baht, higher than the fiscal 2022 budget, according to government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.

Of the total, the regular budget tallied 2.39 trillion baht, up by 17 billion or 0.72% from the previous year, accounting for 75% of the total budget.

The investment budget is set at 695 billion baht, up by 83 billion or 13.8% from fiscal 2022. The investment budget makes up 21.8% of the total budget.

The government set a budget of 100 billion baht to pay the principal on debt for fiscal 2023, equivalent to fiscal 2022, representing 3.14% of the total.

Net state revenue for the fiscal 2023 budget is projected at 2.49 trillion baht, up 3.8% from 2.40 trillion in fiscal 2022.

The planned deficit is 5 billion baht, or 0.71% lower than in fiscal 2022.

He said the fiscal 2023 budget deficit is in line with the government's medium-term fiscal policy framework for 2023-26, which was approved by the cabinet on Dec 21. The budget deficit plan assumes economic growth of 3.2-4.7% in fiscal 2023, with an inflation rate of 1-3%.

Mr Thanakorn said all state agencies are required to submit their budget proposals by Jan 14.

He said the prime minister also ordered the Finance Ministry, the Budget Bureau, the National Economic and Social Development Council and the Bank of Thailand to study economic risks, considering solutions for the medium and long terms.

The agencies were also required to accelerate the government's stimulus measures, including those designed to lure four foreign wealthy groups to take long stays in Thailand; spur investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor, especially for S-curve industries and the bio-, circular and green (BCG) economy, and increase efficiency in tax collection.

In a related development, deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul said the cabinet also approved a budget of 4.18 billion baht for Thailand to bid to host the Specialised Expo, a global event for the wellness industry, with the title "EXPO 2028 – Phuket, Thailand".

Thailand submitted a proposal to the Bureau of International Expositions on Dec 14. The event is expected to draw 5-6 million visitors during the off-peak season, aiming to contribute 49.2 billion baht to the economy.

The cabinet also approved a budget of 6.78 billion baht for Thailand to host the International Horticultural Exposition. Udon Thani and Nakhon Ratchasima are scheduled to host the expo in 2026 and 2029, respectively.

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