The national budget for the fiscal year 2013 has been set at 2.4 trillion baht, with an emphasis on maintaining monetary and fiscal discipline.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra gave a briefing on the 2013 national budget to heads of government agencies on 23 February 2012, after the mobile Cabinet in Udon Thani had approved the budget.
The 2013 national budget represents an increase of 20 billion baht, or 19.5 percent, over that of the 2012 budget. The year 2013 will be another year for a deficit budget. The Government has set a deficit of 300 billion baht, while it is expected to collect revenues of 2.1 trillion baht.
Out of the national budget of 2.4 trillion baht, 1.88 trillion baht will be set aside for regular spending, accounting for 78.5 percent of the total budget. About 467 billion baht will be allocated for investment, representing an increase of 19.5 percent, and 182 billion baht has been set for debt repayment. The Government has based the 2013 national budget on the assumption that the country’s GDP would grow by 4 to 5 percent and exports by 16 percent, with inflation standing at 3.8 percent.
The implementation of the national budget will begin on 1 October 2012 and end on 30 September 2013.
Prime Minister Yingluck said that budget planning for the 2013 fiscal year must take into account risk factors from the volatility of the global economy. One way to reduce the risks is to depend more on the domestic economy. She called for greater emphasis on stimulating the local economy and increasing productivity in various industries, especially small and medium-sized enterprises.
As Thailand is located in a strategic position within Southeast Asia, the Prime Minister pointed out that the country has become an attractive investment base. In this regard, she stressed the need to develop infrastructure in preparation for Thailand to move forward toward the ASEAN Community in 2015.
The Prime Minister cited 2012 as the year for flood restoration and rehabilitation. She believed that Thailand’s GDP growth in 2012 would be 5.5 to 6.5 percent. The Government would emphasize monetary and fiscal disciplines, as it expected a balanced budget in the future.
Prime Minister Yingluck urged all government agencies to tighten their belt, since a large amount of the national budget would be spent on infrastructure development. In their budget planning, she told them to put priorities on the implementation of the Government’s 16 urgent policies presented in the National Assembly in 2011.
She also stressed that budget preparation must respond to the needs of the people and be spent with efficiency and transparency.