Government budget deficit needed for Fiscal 2016

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BANGKOK, Jan 5 — Finance Minister Sommai Phasee said today he would meet with Deputy Prime Minister Pridiyathorn Devakula on preparations for the government’s Fiscal 2016 expenditures, beginning October 1, when the deficit will increase to more than the current fiscal year.

He said the government needs to invest more for several development projects and its expenditure for Fiscal 2016 would see a higher deficit than the current 2015 fiscal year.

The foundation for investment must be solid, so the investment budget should exceed Bt350 billion and may increase to more than double in the next 6-7 years, said Mr Sommai.

Defending a plan to prepare a budget deficit is not related to the government’s tax collection system. Mr Sommai said he believed tax collection for Fiscal 2016 should exceed this fiscal year’s due to several amendments of the tax structure such as a plan to collect an inheritance tax.

He said whether the government could collect a large amount of tax during Fiscal 2016 would depend on the country’s economic situation.

If the gross domestic product (GDP) grows from 4-5 per cent annually, tax collections would also rise.

The government’s budget expenditure during the current 2015 Fiscal Year stands at Bt2.575 trillion, an increase of Bt50 billion from the previous fiscal year.

The budget shows a deficit of Bt250 billion.