Thai gov’t re-allocates fiscal 2020 budget to fight COVID-19, severe drought

The Thai Cabinet on Tuesday approved the Budget Bureau to re-allocate the 2020 fiscal budget to mitigate what Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha described as more urgent matters, the impact of COVID-19 and the drought onto the Thai economy.

"Because we need to give importance to combating the COVID-19 outbreak and the severe drought situation, all government agencies need to lower their budget spending by 10 percent," Budget Bureau said in a statement after the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

The bureau said the budget cut in all state agencies meant that officials should also reconsider official overseas travel plans for conferences, seminars, and workshops to be held in Thailand instead.

The Budget Bureau said that a 10 percent reduction in current expenditures would amount to 200 billion baht (6.35 billion U.S. dollars) of the 2020 annual expenditure budget of 2.39 trillion baht (75.9 billion U.S. dollars).

The Cabinet on Tuesday also announced a policy to reduce investment in durable goods with a credit limit of less than 1 million baht (31,770 U.S. dollars) or buildings with a credit limit of less than 10 million baht (317,702 U.S. dollars).

"Government agencies should consider procuring other durable goods or buildings that help reduce the economic impact from the COVID-19 outbreak and drought," the Budget Bureau said, "They should consider procuring durable goods from domestic manufacturers unless it is absolutely necessary to import the products."

Source: China ASEAN Business Council