Chonburi orders local officials to spend money they’ve been given

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Top Chonburi officials are telling provincial bureaucrats to quickly prepare plans to spend the money they’ve been allocated by the Cabinet.

Deputy Gov. Chaichan Eimcharoen chairs a meeting with top Chonburi officials telling provincial bureaucrats to quickly prepare plans to spend the money they’ve been allocated by the Cabinet.
Deputy Gov. Chaichan Eimcharoen chairs a meeting with top Chonburi officials telling provincial bureaucrats to quickly prepare plans to spend the money they’ve been allocated by the Cabinet.

Deputy Gov. Chaichan Eim­charoen chaired a Nov. 8 budget meeting aimed at tackling one of Thailand’s most-peculiar governmental quirks: Provinces and districts don’t spend the money they’ve been given.

Frequently local administrators hold back funds until the next year, building up a budget surplus that, all too often, ends up going to projects other than those that were allocated.

Chaichan said the central government this year is trying to improve the efficiency of budget allocation and has mandated that no less than 96 percent of the budget be disbursed within the first fiscal quarter, which ends Dec. 31.

The NCPO hopes spending on public works and other projects will jump-start the economy.

Treasurer Suree Khuntim said Chonburi last year ranked 36th out of 77 provinces in allocating funds and is organizing seminar urgently to get local departments and districts to prepare action plans for their budgets. The province has a 2017 budget of 4 billion baht.

All contracts of more than 2 million baht must be disbursed in the first quarter, she said.