The Government has pledged to spend the 2013 national budget on strengthening Thailand, with priorities on the implementation of its urgent policies.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told the House of Representatives that the year 2013 would be another year for a deficit budget, which was set to lay a firm foundation for Thailand’s sustainable development in the long run, in addition to translating the Government’s urgent policies into action.
In her statement at the parliamentary debate on the national budget, scheduled for 21-23 May 2012, the Prime Minister said that Thailand’s economic growth in 2012 is expected to be 5.5-6.5 percent, with inflation between 3.5 and 4 percent. As for 2013, the growth rate is projected at 4-5 percent, while inflation is likely to be 3.8 percent.
The 2013 national budget has been set at 2.4 trillion baht. The Government’s revenue in 2013 is expected to amount to almost 2.2 trillion baht, an increase of 6.3 per cent over the previous year.
Out of the 2.4-trillion-baht budget, 1.9 trillion baht has been set aside for regular spending, accounting for 79.2 percent of the total budget. About 448.9 billion baht has been allocated for investment, representing 18.7 percent of the total budget, and 49 billion baht, accounting for 2.1 percent of the total budget, has been set aside for debt repayment.
According to the Prime Minister, the budget allocation is based on the Government’s eight strategies. The first strategy, comprising 20.5 percent of the total budget, seeks to lay the foundation for balanced development and to implement 16 urgent policies, such as national reconciliation, anti-drug operations, anti-corruption, integrated water management, cooperation with neighboring countries, and the reduction of the cost of living.
The second strategy, which involves national security, receives an allocation of 8.5 percent of the total national budget. The third one seeks to ensure stable and sustainable economic growth and its allocation represents 9.5 percent of the total budget. The fourth strategy, which accounts for 26 percent of the national budget, involves education, ethics, morality, quality of life, and social equality.
The fifth strategy, natural resource and environmental management, represents 2.4 percent of the national budget. The sixth strategy, which calls for science, technology, research, and innovation development, represents 0.8 percent of the total budget. The seventh strategy, which involves foreign affairs and international economy, accounts for 0.3 percent of the budget, and the eighth strategy, which seeks to promote good governance, represents 13.8 percent of the national budget.
The implementation of the 2013 national budget will begin on 1 October 2012 and end on 30 September 2013.