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Thailand Approves 3.75-Trillion-Baht Budget for 2025 Fiscal Year

On June 20, 2024, the House of Representatives approved a 3.75-trillion-baht budget for the 2025 fiscal year, with 311 votes in favor, 175 against, and two abstentions. The budget will now be reviewed over the next 30 days by a 72-member House committee that includes both government and opposition figures.

Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai expressed his gratitude towards the MPs, urging the committee to incorporate their recommendations. “The government will ensure the limited budget is spent efficiently and in the best interest of the public,” Phumtham stated, highlighting the spending plan’s focus on supporting economic growth.

Ahead of the vote, Move Forward Party (MFP) chief adviser Pita Limjaroenrat presented a five-point proposal to the government. His suggestions included a comprehensive plan for revenue collection and debt management, tax reform, and a transparent budget-making process. He also urged that the special House committee’s work be as transparent as possible, encouraging public observation.

The Cabinet had initially approved the 3.75-trillion-baht (US$102 billion) budget on May 28. The fiscal year will commence on October 1 and run until September 30 of the following year. The budget will be funded by 2.88 trillion baht (US$78 billion) in tax revenue, with a loan covering a deficit of about 865 billion baht (US$23.6 billion).

A significant portion of the budget, 152.7 billion baht (US$4 billion), is earmarked for a digital wallet handout program worth 500 billion baht (US$13.6 billion). Despite a higher deficit this year, the government has allocated 908 billion baht (US$24.7 billion) for investment—a 27.9% increase from the 2024 fiscal year.

As the committee begins its review, the effectiveness of this massive budget in fostering economic growth and public welfare will be closely monitored. The outcome will significantly impact Thailand’s financial stability and development in the upcoming year.

Officials present at the announcement included various government and opposition figures, underscoring the collaborative effort required to manage the nation’s budget effectively.

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