Cabinet approves 115 bln baht to boost economy


PM Abhisit
PM Abhisit


The Cabinet yesterday approved a 115-billion-baht supplementary budget for urgent economic stimulus measures, aiming mainly at lessening economic hardship and encouraging the spending among low-income earners.

The supplementary budget will be allocated to finance 18 projects among concerned ministries as the finer details of the budget will be submitted to the Cabinet on January 20 for consideration, before being forward to the Parliament for approval on January 28.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said after the Cabinet meeting that the disbursement of the mid-year fiscal budget is expected to start in March in order to rapidly stimulate the country’s economy.

Among concerned ministries, the Ministry of Education has been approved nearly 18.26 billion baht more, the Ministry of Labour almost 16.06 billion baht more, the Ministry of Transport 15 billion baht more and the Ministry of Interior nearly 12.56 billion baht.

Regarding the budget spending, about 19 billion baht will be used as funds to cover treasury account withdrawals to facilitate the stimulus measures, another 19 billion baht to provide free 15-year education programme, 18.9 billion baht to be used as one-time living allowance worth 2,000 baht for civil servants and social security fund members who earn less than 14,000 baht a month, 15.2 billion baht to promote Sufficiency Economy and about 11.4 billion baht to provide free bus and train service for six months.

In response to the government’s supplementary budget, Santi Vilassakdanont, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), said he was quite satisfied with the Cabinet’s decision to increase the mid-year fiscal budget by 115 billion baht to stimulate the economy.

He said he believed that the measures would help ease economic hardship among Thai people, especially those low-income earners and the unemployed, but the government also needs to speed up implementing the measures simultaneously around the country.