The cabinet on Monday approved a budget framework for fiscal 2024 worth 3.48 trillion baht, an increase of 130 billion baht from the previous plan, with a larger budget deficit of 693 billion baht, up from 593 billion baht approved by the previous government.
According to government spokesman Chai Wacharonke, the increase in budget is intended to make it align with the medium-term fiscal plan for the years 2024 to 2027, as proposed by the Financial and Fiscal Policy Committee.
This increase in the budget comes from projected revenue growth of 30 billion baht, which will be used to cover the increased interest payments on loans due to rising interest rates and to address the increased budget deficit of 100 billion baht to support important government initiatives and maintain fiscal and monetary discipline.
Previously, Budget Bureau director Chalermphol Pensoot said the revised budget rose by 295 billion baht or 9.3% from 3.18 trillion baht approved for the fiscal 2023 budget.
This increase includes estimated net government revenue of 2.78 trillion baht and borrowing to cover the budget deficit of 693 billion baht, a decrease of 2 billion baht from the fiscal 2023 budget deficit of 695 billion baht.
According to the Budget Bureau, the preparation of the fiscal 2024 budget is based on assumptions for 2024 which forecast economic growth at 5%.
It also insisted that the increase in the budget deficit for fiscal 2024 will not affect the country's medium-term fiscal framework.
Mr Chalermphol said the fiscal 2024 budget continues to focus on deficit spending to stimulate economic recovery, in line with the national strategy and various development plans including the 13th National Economic and Social Development Plan.