The government will revise the 5.1-billion-baht budget that was earmarked for national arts and culture promotion projects by the National Soft Power Development Committee (NSPDC) as it is considered too much, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said on Monday.
The PM said he wanted to make sure that every baht of the budget would be used in the most effective way possible after the committee wrapped up its second meeting on Nov 30 with a 5.164 billion baht proposal to mobilise festival events (1 billion baht), culinary affairs (1 billion baht), tourism (711 million baht), entertainment (545 million baht), sports (500 million baht), Thai arts (380 million baht), creative design (310 million baht), music (144 million baht) and books (69 million baht) for the greater good of the country.
Although the premier said the cabinet supports the committee's work, he said he was of the opinion that the budget should be revised.
When asked about the participation of related ministries, including the Culture Ministry and the Tourism and Sports Ministry to revise the budget, he said that those ministers would take part in the revision approval.
According to a NSPDC source, the committee will also revise the requested budget on Dec 14 before submitting its final request to the National Soft Power Committee sometime in early January next year.
Meanwhile, Varawut Silpa-archa, Minister of Social Development and Human Security, said in response that he believed the committee had quality people working on it and his ministry also supports the promotion of soft power.
"I want the public to wait and see the results of the committee's work, as that will counter the criticism," said Mr Varawut.
Besides having the budget, the government will also set up the Thailand Creative Content Agency (Thacca) which will focus on promoting different various high-potential industries.