Thai military junta approves fiscal budget plan for 2014/15

BANGKOK - Thailand's military government has approved a state budget plan for the next fiscal year starting on Oct 1, with a deficit of 250 billion baht (S$9.6 billion), similar to the current year's, a senior official said on Tuesday.

As proposed by the Finance Ministry, spending is projected at 2.575 trillion baht, up 2 percent from the current year's, and revenue of 2.325 trillion baht, Ampon Kittiampon, the cabinet secretary, told reporters.

The ministry said previously that of the total spending, 17.5 percent would be for investment and that the 2014/15 budget plan was based on economic growth of 4 percent for calendar 2015 and inflation of 2.3 percent.

Somsak Chotrattanasiri, head of the Budget Bureau, said the plan was expected to be ready for royal approval so that the budget could start on time on Oct. 1.

Progress on the budget for the next fiscal year was delayed by months of political unrest, which also hurt confidence, domestic demand and tourism.

The military council has said it does not want a large-scale spending plan that would commit the next administration, and would push ahead only with important infrastructure projects.