The cabinet has approved a salary raise of 20% over the next two years for newly recruited civil servants.
Danucha Pichayanan, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council, on Tuesday said the cabinet had agreed in principle to raise salaries by 10% a year in fiscal years 2024 and 2025 as proposed by the Office of the Civil Service Commission (OCSC).
The monthly baseline salaries for newly recruited civil servants will eventually go up from 15,000 baht to 18,000 baht. The first hike will go into effect from May next year after the issuance of the annual budget.
The salary adjustment will also apply to long-serving civil servants in positions below the C8 level who earn less than 18,000 baht per month.
Their salaries will be raised higher than the revised rate for the newly recruited officials.
It is estimated that the government will initially need to spend about 6 billion baht for the hike, and the money is expected to be drawn from a central budget earmarked for emergency use.
However, the increase in the next fiscal year will be worth more than 10 billion baht.
Members of the OCSC, the Comptroller General's Department and the Finance Ministry will meet to discuss the proposed hike again and set a clear budget plan for raising civil servant salaries.
The hike is to be carried out as the government seeks to slim down the bureaucracy through the use of a trimmed state sector workforce, Mr Danucha said.
Meanwhile, Dr Prommin Lertsuridej, secretary-general to the Prime Minister, said the Office of the Civil Service Commission put forth the salary rise in the hope of boosting the competitiveness of state agencies against the private sector, with a focus on the fair treatment of new recruits.
The hike will be adjusted appropriately according to officials' positions, he said.
This plan, however, has been criticised by academics as placing a significant burden on the state budget and could affect expenditure in other areas.
Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the Minister of Labour, earlier this month said that the minimum daily wage will also be pushed up but to a rate below 400 baht.
The promised 400-baht rate, however, will come later, about the end of next year in certain provinces.