Thai parliament passes delayed US$96bil budget for 2024 fiscal year


BANGKOK: Thailand's lower house on Friday (March 22) passed a 3.48 trillion baht (US$95.6 billion) budget bill for the 2024 fiscal year, aimed at reviving aimed at reviving South-East Asia's second-largest economy.

The 2024 budget for the fiscal year ending September aims for a 9.3% rise in spending and a drop of 0.3% in the budget deficit to 693 billion baht from the previous year.

The budget was passed after the three-day debate with 298 lawmakers in favour and 166 against, with one abstention and one absent.

The bill, which needs senate and royal approval before taking effect, is crucial to Prime Minister's Srettha Thavisin's government as it tries to boost the economy, which is lagging peers, amid high household debt and interest rates.

The government has said the budget should be ready for use by early next month, delayed from the original start date of Oct 1, 2023 due to prolonged political gridlock following a May election. The current government was formed in August. -

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