The appropriation bill was heavily debated by MPs from both the government and opposition parties in the House’s second reading on the matter which lasted for two days. The Opposition mainly tried to persuade the government to cut the appropriation by 5-10%, saying that the government had set the budget without considering fiscal disciplines.
The Opposition also pointed out that the 350-billion-baht loan for water management projects and the 2-trillion-baht loan for infrastructure development, coupled with decreasing tax collections and the expected budget deficit, would leave the country in up to 2.9 trillion baht worth of debt.
Despite the Opposition’s claims, the House voted 287 to 107 in favor of the appropriation bill. Education Minister Jaturon Chaisaeng said all government units had been invited to clarify the country’s economic situation and the necessity to spend as high as 2.5 trillion baht to stimulate the economy.