Sun, June 26, 2022

in-focus

Prayut to defend THB3.18tn budget live on TV amid Parliament ‘plot’


Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has invited the public to monitor the 2023 budget bill debate in Parliament on Tuesday, when he will defend its Bt3.18 trillion expenditure.

The PM and his government are almost certain to fall if the bill fails to pass in Parliament, where opposition and rebel coalition MPs are threatening to vote it down.

Prayut wants people to watch him defend the budget so they gain an understanding of the government’s plan to reduce poverty sustainably, government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said on Sunday.

The public could also participate in the check-and-balance of politics by monitoring the debate, said the PM. The budget debate is televised live every year.

Prayut added that the 2023 budget is designed to take care of all Thais amid the economic downturn caused by Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war.

Prayut also hoped opposition MPs would make constructive comments during the debate, saying the budget should be optimised in the public interest.

The budget for fiscal year 2023, which begins in October, is Bt85 billion higher than the 2022 budget. Fixed expenditures comprise 78.2 per cent while the remaining 21.8 per cent is for new investment.

A total of Bt270 billion from the budget would be allocated to 14 ministries for projects to improve economic conditions for the poor, Rachada said.

The budget to combat poverty is divided into five categories:

- Bt173 billion to be spent on living-cost subsidies for 13.4 million state welfare cardholders, 2.09 million disabled people, 2.58 million young children, and 880,000 HIV/Aids patients. The money would also go to reduce costs and boost irrigation for farmers.

- Bt18.1 billion to be spent on educating 2.62 million poor children and 660,000 children in welfare centres, among other things.

- Bt70.1 billion to provide healthcare for 13.45 million people under the national health security system and to upgrade 494 hospitals.

- Bt7.16 billion to provide farmland, housing (200,000 families) and tap water.

- Bt2.16 billion to improve government services for crime victims, illegal immigrants and anti- human trafficking, and provide welfare via community funds.

Published : May 29, 2022

By : THE NATION