All government units have been told, by the Budget Bureau, that disbursement of funds from the 2021 fiscal year budget will be delayed until after October 1st, the first day of the new fiscal year.
An urgent letter from Mr. Dechapiwat na Songkhla, director of the Budget Bureau, dated September 10th, which was circulated to all government units, said that the new budget could not be disbursed by October 1st and all government units were advised to make use of residual funds from the current fiscal year for necessary spending.
The letter, however, stops short of specifying when the budget will be available for disbursement.
The 3.3 trillion baht Budget Bill, for the 2021 fiscal year, has passed the first reading in the House of Representatives and the second and third readings are scheduled for September 16th to 18th, before being passed to the Senate for deliberations on September 22nd and 23rd.
The 2021 fiscal budget contains is a 623 billion baht shortfall in revenue, which will be funded through public sector borrowing.
If everything proceeds smoothly, and within the set timeline, the Budget Bill will be submitted to His Majesty the King on September 29th for Royal approval and then promulgated as law.
An informed Finance Ministry source that, although disbursement of the new budget will be late, government officials and state employees will definitely receive their salaries in October as normal, adding that existing investment projects will not be affected by the delay either.
Earlier, opposition MPs said that the Government is broke and, hence, unable to disburse money to government units on time.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)