The Government is confident about achieving its projected net income of 2.275 trillion baht in the 2014 fiscal year, which will begin in October 2013.
Speaking in the weekly program “Yingluck Government Meets the People,” on 1 June 2013, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong referred to the Government’s 2.525-trillion-baht budget bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives in its first reading on 31 May 2013.
Mr. Kittiratt said that the Thai economy has continued to grow and that the Government would be able to expand its tax base for more income collection. Moreover, the Government’s earnings would also come from other sources, as well, such as various state enterprises.
Regarding the fiscal policy, he said, a budget deficit is still necessary in preparing the 2014 national budget. Even so, he believed that the Government would be able to reduce the amount of deficit in moving toward the target of balancing the fiscal budget in the next few years.
He explained that the budget deficit had been set at 400 billion baht when the Government assumed office. The amount has dropped to 300 billion baht now and would be cut further to 250 billion baht in the 2014 fiscal year.
Mr. Kittiratt stated that the Government had adjusted the country’s economic balance by reducing its dependence on exports and placing greater emphasis on domestic consumption. The adjustment was meant to sustain economic growth, since Thailand’s major export markets have faced economic problems.
Meanwhile, Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Varathep Ratanakorn said that the 2014 national budget had been worked out by taking into consideration the framework of the “Country Strategy,” Thailand’s preparations for the ASEAN Community, and the Government’s urgent policies.
He stressed that the Government intended to spend the national budget with great efficiency and transparency in accordance with related laws. Apart from the 2.525-trillion-baht national budget, the Government would also have another two trillion baht in loan for infrastructure development.
The House of Representatives has already passed the bill on the 2.2-trillion-baht loan for infrastructure development in the first reading. The second and third readings are expected in August 2013 before the bill is forwarded to the Senate for consideration.
The Secretary-General of the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, Mr. Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, said that in handling macro-economy, fiscal and monetary policies would be focused upon. But at the micro-economy level, sources of income must be considered. For Thailand, major sources of revenue come from agriculture and tourism sectors, which would help distribute wealth to rural areas.
He pointed out that Thailand’s economic fundamentals remain strong. The question is how Thailand will use its potential fully to ensure stability and sustain ability.