Thailand's House of Representatives on Thursday started a three-day debate on the 2020 budget bill, totaling 3.2 trillion baht (about 105.43 billion U.S. dollars).
Opening the House floor on the marathon debate, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha read out a statement confirming his government has planned to spend the 3.2 trillion baht budget largely in accordance with national strategies which call for measures to reduce social disparity, improve the people's quality of life, promote human resources' potential and upgrade the country's trade and investment competitiveness, among others.
The 3.2 trillion baht budget accounts for a 6.7 percent increase from last fiscal year and represents 18 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product. The budget incurs some 469 billion baht (about 15.45 billion U.S. dollars) in deficit since the government is projected to collect some 2.73 trillion baht (about 89.95 billion U.S. dollars) in revenue, 76.9 percent of which is to come from taxes and tariffs throughout fiscal 2020, according to a statement read out in parliament by the prime minister.
Of the 3.2 trillion baht budget, 2.39 trillion baht (about 78.75 billion U.S. dollars) is earmarked for regular government expenditures.
The prime minister, cabinet ministers, government MPs and opposition MPs are expected to spend no less than 40 hours from Thursday until Saturday debating the budget bill before casting votes on it late at night on Saturday.
Source: China ASEAN Business Council