State spending to rise by 3.4% to B3.6tn

State spending to rise by 3.4% to B3.6tn

A view of Bangkok Port in Klong Toey captured as the sun sets in the Thai capital. The country's GDP is projected to reach 20.0 trillion baht in 2025, up from 19.0 trillion baht in 2024. (Photo: Reuters)
A view of Bangkok Port in Klong Toey captured as the sun sets in the Thai capital. The country's GDP is projected to reach 20.0 trillion baht in 2025, up from 19.0 trillion baht in 2024. (Photo: Reuters)

The cabinet has approved a budget of 3.6 trillion baht for fiscal 2025, with the budget deficit expanding to 713 billion baht.

According to Rudklao Suwankiri, deputy government spokesperson, the cabinet  on Tuesday approved the budget framework for fiscal 2025 as proposed by the Budget Bureau. The total budget is set at 3.6 trillion baht, reflecting a 3.4% increase from the fiscal 2024 budget of 3.48 trillion baht.

Fiscal 2025 starts on Oct 1, 2024.

Mrs Rudklao said the fiscal 2025 budget includes a deficit of 713 billion baht, up 2.89% from the figure earmarked for 2024.

The government still needs a short-term deficit budget to support continued economic expansion and stability, she said.

The government expects net revenue of 2.88 trillion baht in 2025, representing a 3.6% increase from 2024, with public debt of 12.7 trillion baht, equivalent to 63.7% of GDP.

The government expects the country's GDP to grow in a range of 3.1% to 4.1% in 2025 (with an average of 3.6%), and an inflation rate between 1.5% and 2.5%. Thai GDP is projected to be 20.0 trillion baht, up from 19.0 trillion baht in 2024.

According to Mrs Rudklao, the next step will call for the Budget Bureau to invite various government agencies to submit their expenditure proposals for consideration.

In light of discussions during the cabinet meeting, she said the Budget Bureau proposed extending the deadline for submission by one week, from the originally scheduled date of Jan 26 this year to Feb 2. This extension aims to allow all agencies to prepare their requests according to the policies outlined by the prime minister on Jan 12.

In a related development, the cabinet on Tuesday approved an extension of five items -- hygienic face masks, spun-bonded fabric, alcohol gel, paper for recycling, and chicken -- on the price control list, until June 29 this year. The five items are scheduled to expire on Jan 23 this year.

The price control list covers essential items for daily use such as food, consumer products, farm-related products (fertilisers, pesticides, animal feed, tractors and rice harvesters), construction materials, paper, petroleum, and medicines.

The foods listed include garlic, rice paddy, milled rice, corn, eggs, cassava, wheat flour, powdered/fresh milk, sugar, vegetable/animal oil, and pork.

The services listed comprise the right to distribute copyrighted music for commercial purposes, trading services and/or shipping services for online businesses, agricultural services, medical services and other services provided by healthcare facilities, and payment services at the point of service.

Including the five items, there are a total of 56 items of goods and services now on the Commerce Ministry's price control list.

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