Thailand: 95% spending aim for investment doable: Somkid

  • Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak says the investment budget disbursement target for state enterprises of 95% in fiscal year 2017-2018 is achievable, even though a mere 41% of the annual investment budget had been doled out by the end of Jun 18.
  • State enterprises are faring slightly better in drawing down investment budget in 2018 than in 2017, but some of them, including the State Railway of Thailand, Bangkok Mass Transit Authority, Thailand Tobacco Monopoly and Airports of Thailand Plc, are still falling short of their targets, Mr Somkid said after chairing a meeting to accelerate budget spending.
  • The government has employed public and state enterprise investment as instruments to drive the country’s economy over the past few years, helping boost growth to 4.8% y/y in 1Q18.
  • After the country’s economy in the first quarter expanded at the fastest pace in five years, the Finance Ministry’s Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) raised its growth estimate to 4.5% in 2018 from 4.2%, and the Bank of Thailand upgraded its 2018 outlook to 4.4% from 4.1%.
  • In 2017, state enterprises doled out THB280bn in investment, accounting for 81% of the target.
  • Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said state enterprises performed well in terms of budget disbursement, while state agencies were stuck in the slow lane.
  • The Comptroller-General’s Department has requested that state agencies rev up their investment spending, Mr Apisak said.
  • State agencies meted out a mere 37.1% of the annual investment budget for the eight months through May, well below the full-year target of 87%.
  • Prapas Kong-Ied, director-general of the State Enterprise Policy Office, said 45 state enterprises drew down THB143bn, representing 86% of the disbursement plan, for the Oct 17-to-Jun 18 period and 41% of their annual investment budget of THB352bn.

External Link: