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Thailand’s emergency fund rapidly running out

Samui Times Editor

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Thailand’s emergency fund rapidly running out | Samui Times
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Director of the Budget Bureau, Dechapiwat na Songkhla, says that the emergency fund of 96 billion baht from fiscal 2020 budget has nearly been used up.

The budget includes…

  • 18 billion baht to help people who are affected by Covid-19 and drought.
  • 45 billion baht for cash handouts.
  • 2 billion baht as compensation of interest for the Government Housing Bank.

Dechapiwat says…

“The Bureau will report the matter to the Cabinet today and if the government does not make a decision soon, we might not have enough funds for additional measures to cope with Covid-19 and the drought problem.”

The Bureau is proposing 2 approaches to solve this problem…

  • The first approach is to have the Ministry of Finance issue an emergency loan decree. However, this approach will need to consider whether it complies with the constitution, as Section 140 stipulates the emergency loan decree only allowed for expenditures approved in the budget spending list. And the Constitution’s Section 172 stipulates that loans for emergencies can be immediately approved. This approach may take some time, as we will need the Constitutional Court’s ruling first.
  • The second approach is to have the Cabinet issue the Budget Transfer Act to transfer unused budget from government agencies that have the leftover budget or no immediate projects to use it in the next few months for an emergency fund. This approach can be done faster and has no legal obstacles.

“However, it is up to the Cabinet to consider which approach to use to fix the problem.”

SOURCE: The Nation

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