By Siam Intelligence, originally published in Thai on August 11, 2012
A hot political issue was the deliberation of the proposed Budget Bill for the year 2013 in the second and third session in Parliament on August 15-17, before the bill was sent to the Senate for deliberation and the 2013 Budget Bill is effective beginning October 1, 2012. The 2013 Budget Bill was passed on August 18 in parliament, voted 279 to 8 with 127 abstentions. In all the 3 House sessions on the bill, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was present for only 10 minutes.
Parliament has to consider the budget requests of the ministries, departments and other government organizations for the annual Budget Bills – without the big interest of the general public in this issue, even though it is their tax money that is being used for the Budget. The reasons might be because the draft for the budget has many contradictions, uses hard-to-understand language and has a lot of technical accounting. Even though the data is freely available and can be found on the website of the Bureau of the Budget, but there probably won’t be many Thais interested in that matter.
As an introduction for the deliberation of the proposed 2013 Budget Bill, to which the opposition made clear that will completely destroy the government, Siam Intelligence Unit has complied [the data] into a graphic chart in order to show the readers especially for what their taxes are being used and for how much:
The total budget for 2013 is 2,4 trillion Baht (2,400,000,000,000) [$77 billion] and has been earmarked for the following:
1. General Administration: 499,394,000,000.2 Baht (20.8 per cent of total budget) for lawmakers (MP and senators), financial management, mid-level personnel, preparation of statistics, foreign affairs, economic aid to foreign countries, research and development of general administration of the state and repayments of local loan funds.
2. Defense: 178,441,000,000 Baht (7.5 per cent) for the defense of the country, the preservation of the territory by civil guards, volunteer groups and civil staff.
3. Interior and National Security: 144,820,000,000.6 Baht (6 per cent) for judiciary, attorney, police force, fire departments, correction facilities, research and development to maintain domestic security.
4. Economy: 471,491,000,000.8 Baht (19.6 per cent) for land management, land management for farmers, stabilizing production costs, support for agriculture sector, livestock, pest control, forestry, fishing, exploration, development and supply of fuel resources, electricity from various energy sources, industry promotion, industrial development, civil aviation control, the commercial promotion of hotels and restaurants, tourism promotion, labor, multifunctional projects, management and construction of transport infrastructure by land, air and sea, communications (which does not include television and radio broadcasts. This is covered in “Religion, Culture and Recreation”) and research and development.
5. Environment: 2,171,000,000.3 Baht (0.1 per cent) for sewage treatment system, wastewater treatment system, management and construction of drainage system, air and climate protection, protection of ground and surface water, reduction of noise pollution, radiation protection, construction of noise reducing walls and fences, measures to reduce water pollution, maintenance of ecosystems and landscapes and research and development.
6. Housing and Community: 33,021,000,000.4 Baht (5.6 per cent) for operating and providing housing and housing standards, community development, drinking water supply and research and development.
7. Public Health: 254,947,000,000.3 Baht (10.6 per cent) for planning, managing hospitals and clinics, health education and services and research and development of public health.
8. Religion, Culture and Recreation: 20,055,000,000.1 Baht (0.8 per cent) for sport promotion – excluding education policies – expenses for culture and religion, operating costs for radio and television broadcasts, management of publications, construction of public parks and recreational facilities, libraries, museums, botanical garden and the research and development of religion, culture and other activities.
9. Education: 493,892,000,000 Baht (20.6 per cent) for operating and administration costs, pre-school to higher education, adult education, scholarships and research to improve education. Budget includes subsidies for local administration in education.
10. Social: 201,765,000,000.3 Baht (8.4 per cent) for management of occupational disability insurance, public benefits, pension for state employees, operating costs of social housing and other aids, such as disaster relief and research and development.
Translation by Saksith Saiyasombut
About the author:
Siam Intelligence is a Thai-language news and analysis website founded by the Siam Intelligence Unit, a Thai think-tank focused on politics, economy, public policy and international relations.