Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha stressed the importance of deficit budget for 2018 fiscal year, citing the need to carry on with government's investments on various infrastructure projects to stimulate the economy, to create more jobs and to drive forward national development.

In his address in the presentation of the 2018 fiscal year's budget to the National Legislative Assembly on Thursday, the prime minister said the expenditure budget was set at 2.9 trillion baht against anticipated revenue estimated at 2.56 trillion baht with the remainder amounting to 450 billion baht to be funded with loans.

The 450 billion baht deficit accounts for 2.8 percent of the GDP which is regarded as appropriate, manageable and does not violate fiscal discipline, the prime minister assured.

He said that the Thai economy was projected to grow continuously from this year to between 3.3-4.3 percent next fiscal year, thanks to expansion in exports, services, domestic consumption and investments in infrastructure projects in addition to global economic recovery.

Of the 2.9 trillion baht expenditure budget, 74 percent of them or 2.15 trillion baht were allocated for permanent budget, 22 percent for investment or 659 billion baht and three percent or 86 billion baht for loan repayments.

At the end of his budget presentation, the prime minister pleaded for support from the NLA for his government's deficit budget.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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