Budget hurdles may prevent creation of halal industry department this year
Industry Minister Pimphattra Wichaikul’s plan to set up a new department for promoting the halal food industry is unlikely to materialise this year as the Cabinet Secretariat prohibits seeking budget allocation for new government agencies, a source said on Sunday.
Pimphattra of the United Thai Nation Party said recently that she planned to set up a public organisation in charge of promoting the halal food industry, which would be upgraded to a department under her ministry later.
A well-informed Government House source said the Industry Ministry had not submitted a request yet to the Cabinet for setting up a new department.
The source said the ministry had instead proposed to the Cabinet to set up a national committee headed by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin for driving forward the halal food industry.
However, the source said, the proposal was still in the initial stages and the details had not been finalised.
The source added that the plan to set up a new department in charge of promoting the halal food industry was unlikely as the Cabinet Secretariat had sent circulars to all deputy prime ministers and ministers that their vetting of the fiscal 2024 budget bill must not create new fixed budget spending in new budget years.
Any request for new budget allocations during the vetting process must be made for government agencies that are capable of carrying out the project right away, the source quoted the circular as saying.
The projects must be proposed within the authority of the agencies that seek the budget and the budget request must not violate the financial discipline act and the budgeting procedure act, the circular was quoted as saying.
The source said the circular said a change of budget allocation to new agencies would be allowed only where laws have already been enacted to set up a new agency, or its establishment has already been published in the Royal Gazette.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives is scheduled to deliberate on a motion moved by United Thai Nation MP Akkaradej Wongpithakroj that seeks the formation of a special committee to study the establishment of a new halal food industry department.