House passes budget, Senate to debate by month's end
published : 22 Aug 2021 at 15:22
writer: Online Reporters
The draft budget for the next fiscal year has been passed by the House of Representatives and is expected to be up for Senate debate by the end of the month.
MPs voted 257 for and 189 against the draft in the small hours of Sunday. Three MPs abstained and one did not vote.
The voting ended a five-day debate on the second and third readings of the 3.1-trillion-baht budget, which anticipates a 700-billion-baht deficit.
During the debate, the opposition attacked the government, urging it to freeze unnecessary projects and use the money saved to battle the coronavirus outbreak.
The lower house trimmed the funds allocated to ministries, including the Defence Ministry, and transferred some to the central fund for the government to dole out during emergencies.
The draft will be forwarded to the Senate as early as Monday.
Senate whip spokesman Kamnoon Sitthisamarn said the debate in the upper house might begin on Aug 30, according to Matichon online.
Tbe budget is expected to cruise throught the Senate as senators were handpicked by the military regime.
The opposition will grill Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and five other cabinet ministers in a no-confidence debate after submitting a petition to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai last Monday. That debate has yet to be scheduled.