Budget bill easily passes first reading in the lower House


The budget bill for fiscal year 2025 passed the first reading after a vote in the House of Representatives on Friday night.

The lower house passed the 3.75-trillion-baht draft budget on Friday at around 10pm after a three-day debate. The bill has to pass two more readings in August.

Of the 488 MPs present, 311 voted in favour, 175 voted against, and two abstained.

The house will now appoint 72 committees to consider the budget bill and propose any amendments within 30 days. 

Deputy Prime Minister Phumtham Wechayachai, speaking on behalf of the government, thanked members of Parliament and emphasised that the government would prioritise the interests of the public and the country in spending the proposed budget.

“The objective of this budget bill is to ensure high-quality economic growth in Thailand, generate income for the people and the nation through government policies declared to Parliament, as well as the ‘Ignite Thailand’ initiative that aims to develop eight key industries,” said Phumtham, who is also the commerce minister. “They will serve as a guideline for budget management and national resource utilisation to achieve goals, in line with the national economic strategy”.

"For feedback, observations, and suggestions, on behalf of the government I humbly accept and entrust the Parliament’s committee with considering them in detail to ensure benefits to all citizens as intended. However, I would refrain from responding to rhetoric and divisive speech that could undermine the confidence in the country and the government,” said Phumtham.

The budget bill has allocated 3.7 trillion baht for government spending against a projected revenue of 2.8 trillion baht.

The planned spending will include 2.7 trillion baht for fixed expenditures, 908 billion baht for investments and 150 billion baht for loan repayments.

The government would borrow 865 billion baht to offset the deficit. 

The 908 billion baht earmarked for investments is 27.9% more than the funds allocated in fiscal 2024 and the highest in 17 years.