Panel backs revised 2023 budget
B7.64bn reallocated to other schemes
The House committee examining the budget bill for fiscal 2023 approved a revised spending plan in which 7.64 billion baht has been cut and reallocated, says a committee spokesman.
Under the revised bill, the committee has scaled down the spending of several agencies worth 7.64 billion baht in total, said Dr Banyat Jetjan, a Democrat MP for Rayong and panel spokesman.
The Defence Ministry faces the biggest chop of 2.77 billion baht, followed by local administrative organisations (742 million baht) and the Education Ministry (737 million baht).
Dr Banyat said the money has been reallocated to support 10 schemes under various agencies.
They are the Farmers Rehabilitation and Development Fund (500 million baht); health service improvement (1.84 billion baht); an education subsidy (2.4 billion); rice strain improvement and rice grain distribution (1.25 billion); and promotion of rice strain changes (1 billion).
Other recipients are the Office of the Attorney General (230 million); the Office of the Court of Justice (192 million); National Anti Corruption Commission (154 million baht); Election Commission (81 million); and the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Organisation (8.2 million baht).
He said budget requests by the Foreign Ministry, Thai Red Cross Society and Royal Office were approved without any changes.
The committee will inform the House speaker that the budget bill is now ready for its second and final readings, tentatively scheduled for Aug 17-19, Dr Banyat said.
Under the constitution, the budget bill must clear the House within 105 days of it being submitted to the House.
Dr Banyat said the panel also made some observations about the bill after finding the expenditure plan was not in line with the country's economic recovery hopes.
The committee has also made suggestions about how to raise state revenue including widening the tax base, increasing efficiency in collection of land tax, building and inheritance taxes, introducing a windfall tax, and levying a tax on profits from stock market investments.
The 3.18-trillion-baht budget bill passed its first reading in the House in early June with 278 votes in favour and 194 against. A 72-member committee was set up to scrutinise the bill.